Nick Jonas’ new self-titled album is a steady step into maturity for the young artist. Still attempting to shake off the ‘boy band’ image he spent years perfecting with his brothers, he has moved into the world of ’80s-era R&B, and interestingly dedicated his PR campaign towards the LGBTQ community.
While Nick Jonas is undeniably more grown-up than any of his other work—and certainly shows a musical talent that had been handily stifled during his time in the Jonas Brothers—Jonas still has a lot of cleaning up to do if he wants to be taken seriously as an artist. The track “Wilderness” is a clichéd look into an on-again, off-again relationship. “Jealous,” meanwhile, has received a lot of praise for being the strongest on the track, yet Jonas’ voices sounds shaky throughout and his acclaimed falsetto fails to reach the heights it does on “Avalanche.”
The real standout on the album, though, is “Numb,” which combines a bass-heavy club beat with a strong hook to provide the emotional backbone of the album while also showing the strongest production value. Angel Haze adds a strong dimension to the track, providing subtle hip-hop backing without losing the overall jazz electronic feel.
Considering Jonas’ long history in the music industry, but rather recent fling as a solo artist, the ultimately poor production value of this album is its true downfall. While Jonas may not have Justin Timberlake-level chops, he’s clearly working towards a mastery in the field of young, white, male R&B pop male singers, as best represented in “Take Over.” If Jonas really wants to gain legitimacy in the music field, he needs to continue defining himself as something other than adorable Camp Rock (2008) heartbreaker, and find a producer who will get that tone across in a sophisticated manner.