Nick Jonas | s/t (Island)

nickjonas 75No longer a kid wearing a purity ring, Nick Jonas reinvents himself with his self-titled album.

If you’ve heard of Nick Jonas, you probably know him as the youngest of the three Jonas Brothers, a popular band with tween girls, and one that also had its own Disney Channel television show. The brothers were a pop-rock group known for their moral values and their purity rings. If that sums up your vision of Nick, throw it away, because the Nick Jonas who created this new self-titled album has come so, so far from Disney.

The first obvious change in this album is that Jonas is clearly searching for a mature audience. Half the songs revolve around sex, but he approaches this with class. There are no female-degrading lyrics like many artists create today; instead, the lyrics are loving and exploratory.

The music is also different from previous works that carry the Jonas name. The tracks on Nick Jonas are the opposite of the endless, upbeat happiness of Disney. Nick Jonas is edgy. It’s still pop, but it’s pop with meaning. While the lyrics explore the desire, pain, and confusion that comes with love, the music displays these feelings, as well.

There are more upbeat tracks for dancing, such as “Take Over” and “Closer,” and there are slow, thoughtful songs like “Avalanche” and “Santa Barbara.” The only track that seems out of place is “Teacher,” which seems like it belongs in the ’80s instead of the present-day pop charts, but the theme of the music goes along nicely with the rest of the album.

As a whole, I love this album. It’s definitely not what I was expecting from Nick Jonas, and some huge fans of his previous work may not like the new stuff, especially the younger fans. Jonas set out to find a new sound, a new image, and a new audience, and he exceeded those goals on his self-titled solo debut. A | Samantha LaBat

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