Nick Jonas gives his heart out on to a plate for all his fans, critics and haters to see. If there is one and only emotional album you need in your life, it’s this one. This is not the droning, all about me, selfish album we expected, especially when the title was announced. Oh no! It’s so much better than that, he has captured emotions and put them into songs that are relatable to, not just his fans, but to everyone as a whole.
This album needed to be released, it’s pure perfection in the route he is meant to be going down. He’s been side-tracked in the past, featuring on Sage the Gemini’s single “Good Thing” was definitely not good. His single “Levels” on the other hand, suggested something new and defining, not only for him but for the music world as a whole.
Then first single “Close” came out, featuring the gorgeous vocalist Tove Lo, written by Robin Fredriksson, Mattias Larsson, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and Tove Nilsson. Accompanied with a gritty contemporary dance which is totally a literal translation of the song lyrics yet weirdly entertaining. Directed by Tim Erem, this undesirable music video is pulled off to perfection. Magnetically attracted and repelled through their bodies, this illusion is engaging. Crafted beautifully although none of the singers are at all appealing in this, their acting and dancing skills are put to the test and they pull it off.
As the instant grat singles dropped, another video appeared on Nick Jonas’ Vevo account, this time for “Chainsaw”, written by Nick Jonas, Nolan Lambroza, Simon Wilcox, Julia Michaels and Sean Douglas. This perfect literal translation of the lyrics into a video is directed by Luke Monaghan. Some lines are linked up with the visuals, which definitely works, although no chainsaw to the sofa. This raw emotional song is definitely a favourite, it’s catchy and relatable.
The day the album dropped, so did a video for “Bacon” featuring Ty Dollar $ign. Clearly his love for bacon spiralled out of control. This supposedly upbeat track was written by Nick Jonas, Nolan Lambroza, Priscilla Renea and Tyrone Griffin Jr. Proving he doesn’t need a girl beside him, this spikey and sharp lyric is the perfect follow-up to “Chainsaw”, it’s emotion is relatable, as he lists the things he loves doing now, making this one stand out as the others delve into a deeper part of himself. Ty Dollar $ign fails to add anything to this song, his rap seems out of place. The video is set in a breakfast diner, Nick Jonas can serve me bacon any day of the week, but he’s too eager to eat it all himself. Simple but fun, Nick Jonas displays his down-to-earth personality in this video directed by Black Coffee.
“Under You” is the latest song to have a music video, days after the “Bacon” video was released. Definitely a favourite track on the album, it was written by Ali Payami, Rickard Göransson, Savan Kotecha, Max Martin and Bebe Rexha. No wonder it’s so catchy. Raw and gritty with infectious sounds and definitely defining the future sound of Nick Jonas, this stands out on the album. The video, directed by Marc Klasfeld, is stunningly sexy. A look-back on regrets and decisions made, easily relatable all caught up within steam from that extremely hot shower.
With more tracks from the album getting music videos, apparently opening song “Voodoo” will be next, is “Last Year Was Complicated” being turned into Justin Bieber’s “Purpose”? Only instead of promotional videos for each of the songs, they will be official music videos instead. Especially with this album being such a personal statement from Nick Jonas, it’s no wonder he wants it to be perfect.
The album as a whole is Nick Jonas blowing off steam, it’s him bringing rawness, emotion and displaying his feelings. This is what the fans have been waiting for and finally he has brought out what we’ve wanted. “Touch” and “Don’t Make Me Choose” are tantalisingly memorable, the R&B beats from “Good Girls” and “The Difference” adds charisma and charm to this album and as for the bonus tracks on the deluxe version… Well they don’t fit, they’re bonus tracks for a reason. “Testify” is damn amazing, a great follow-up to “Levels” and yet doesn’t fit on the album whatsoever.
Some amazing collaborations. Rappers: Ty Dollar $ign and Big Sean feature on “Bacon” and “Good Girls” respectfully, although not at all impressed with Ty Dollar $ign’s rap which is trying to become part of the song, but doesn’t quite work. As for Big Sean, he nails it in “Good Girls” bringing fire, it fits exactly right. Singer Tove Lo harmonizes with Nick Jonas like no other person could on “Close” syncing beautifully. Daniella Mason, however, on “When We Get Home”, does a good job, but it’s a bonus track, didn’t make the final cut, as the song doesn’t fit in with the style of the album, it’s strong and works, it just doesn’t belong. Most surprising is “Comfortable” which samples Allen Iverson’s “Practice” rant; this made the cut for the album, with its catchy chorus, futuristic sounds and personal lyrics, yet the verses fail to amaze as much as the chorus, and the inclusion of the rant makes the whole song a shambles; yet you can’t help but like it.
As Nick Jonas prepares to continue promoting this album, because of how close it is to him, expect more music videos; expect a documentary with actor Jonathan Tucker where Nick Jonas explains how personal this album is to him, part one is already released; expect live performances and promotional videos; expect more exposure. This album is the album Nick Jonas was meant to release, whether it’s a chart success or not, it doesn’t matter, because this album is the stepping stone on Nick Jonas’ journey, the personal one he has shared with the world, and the album that will change the music he will release in the future, for the better. This will become his signature album in years to come.
If there’s one personal album you need in your world right now, it’s this one.
Last Year Was Complicated is available on iTunes and Spotify now.
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