Those who were teens (or parents of teens) in the 2000s will tell you that some of their fondest memories included going to see the Jonas Brothers play live, which is why their breakup in 2013 was quite possibly the biggest tragedy to occur in pop music history. Now their back! Not just back together, but back with new music, a new documentary, a new tour, and new wives. With the debut of their fifth studio album, “Happiness Begins,” the Jonas Brothers reclaim their spot on the pop music throne and prove to the world that they are to be considered The Beatles of the 21st century.
After their split, Kevin, Nick, and Joe Jonas each went their separate ways and though their solo careers were admirable, nothing compared to the joy they brought to people with the feel-good music they put out as a band. “Happiness Begins” is a nostalgic masterpiece, reminding people why the 2000s were some of the greatest times in pop music history.
Though “Happiness Begins” is the band’s first album in 10 years, it still feels like a direct follow up to their fourth studio album, “Lines, Vines, and Trying Times,” from 2009. Not a single song feels out of place, even though the album is a lengthy 14 tracks. Each song flows effortlessly from one to the next, making it hard to believe that the brothers drifted apart at one point.
The band debuted both “Sucker” and “Cool” earlier this year ahead of the album release. “Sucker” earned the trio their first number one spot on Billboard and has remained on the charts every week since.
A clear standout on the album is “Only Human,” which has an addicting, head-bopping beat reminiscent to “World War III” from their previous album.
With an almost reggae-esque sound, trumpets and xylophones play over the pre-chorus, “We gon’ dance in my living room / Slave to the way you move / Hurts when I’m leaving you / Just dance in my living room / Love with an attitude / Drunk to an 80’s groove.”
The band manages to incorporate the theme of happiness not only in the album title, but also in certain lyrics. In “Only Human,” they cleverly mention trying to “find the place where happiness begins.”
Piggybacking off of that idea is “Rollercoaster” on which Nick sings, “Nights, flying down the 10, nearly 2:00 AM, happiness begins.”
The track features a rollercoaster of ups and downs in terms of its rhythm. Though the verses are slow, the beat picks up as it transitions into the chorus. The song brilliantly mirrors the highs and lows of their success as a band and plays on the idea that they “barely made it over.”
Though the lyrics of the final and shortest track on the album, “Comeback,” seem to explicitly be referring to a love interest, it can more interestingly be interpreted as a song for the band’s fans.
In the new Amazon documentary, “Chasing Happiness,” the brothers expressed their fear of getting back together again and wondering if people would even care.
At the height of their fame, the Jonas Brothers had an extremely devoted fanbase. With the lyrics “Come back to me baby / I’ll come back to you,” the boys hope that their support system from the past will still choose to accept them, even after their abrupt split 6 years ago. And given the way they’ve managed to unite every pop music lover together in just a few short months, it’s safe to say that the boys still have a few decades worth of success up their sleeves.
The brothers couldn’t have picked a better theme for their comeback album. Their discography, both old and new, is admirable due to its capability to make people feel emotions so strongly.
Pop music in recent years has started to sound the same: aggressive beats, electronic synths, vulgar and often times explicit lyrics that seem necessary to catch people’s attention. “Happiness Begins” goes back to a time when good music was simply that — good music.
“Happiness Begins” will hopefully serve as a reminder to future artists of what made pop music so great. One thing’s for sure though: even 14 years after their initial formation, the JoBros are and will always be “Burnin’ Up.”
The Jonas Brothers will be hosting a global listening party for “Happiness Begins” on Tuesday, June 11 at 7:00 AM PST. They will also be heading out the “Happiness Begins Tour” starting June 13 in New York.