With midterm season wrapping up and essay season ploughing full steam ahead, a good night’s sleep has been increasingly hard to come by. So, hearing reports of a NEW Jonas Brothers song, I thought it was just a case of my sleep deprived mind playing tricks on me. Making me yearn for more nostalgic time that had no 15 page essays on Quebec and Ontario’s political economy. BUT, to my surprise, and great satisfaction, they indeed DO have a new song out. Obviously I had to listen to it. Yes, I may be cheating on the likes of Bon Iver, but I have always enjoyed the Brothers.
The song, titled “Sucker”, opens up with Nick’s now famous falsetto, setting the tone for the rest of the track. After the first line, the instrumental starts to slowly fill the sonic emptiness. A steady but infectious minimalist guitar and percussion beat slide under Nick’s vocals, providing a perfect opening to the modern sounding pop anthem. The cadence and instrumentalism reminds me greatly of the 2017 hit “Feel It Still” By Portugal the Man. A more ‘alternative’ sound, but still rooted heavily in the pop genre. Then, the pre-chorus hits hard. With Joe taking the lead only to have his brothers seamlessly accompany him with a great harmony. The tension is building, with the anticipation of the chorus rising with every tick of the metronome.
However, the brothers do something very smart. Rather than having the ‘bass drop’ so accustomed to pop choruses of the Top40, the three musicians give listeners a sort of an ‘anti-drop’. The instrumentalism goes even more minimalist and simplistic. The rhythmic percussion keeping the tempo and the bodies moving. With this subversion of expectations, the anticipation grows even further, sucking the listener in. After a few seconds, choppy synth chords and drums are added to the mix, further increase the musical depth. The rest of the song follows the traditional pop structure, giving us more choruses and more Jonas.
So, the big question: is this song good? I can honestly say that this track is a great song. The Jonas Brothers have managed to come back and give as an instant classic. Both lyrically and sonically more mature, this song encapsulates and displays the growth that the three artists experienced over their life. The track’s instrumental minimalism also does a great job of allowing the vocals to shine, again showing off their progress. The harmonies are also much tighter and crisper. The beat to the track is also phenomenal. Not too much on the pop side, not too much on the alternative side, just right in the middle. The whole song just oozes energy, charisma, and a sense of flirtatious playfulness. But, regardless of all the change and positive growth that this song shows, it is still a Jonas song. The themes of love, infatuation, and chasing after someone, the cheesy lyrics, the harmonies, and so much more are all there.
This song’s mix of the old and the new Jonas sound is what really makes it stand out from the hordes of overproduced pop music circulating the scene. Critics may call it out for the simple and repetitive nature of the structure and lyrics, but, this song accomplished what it set out to do. It is a legitimate banger, or bop if you will, that reminded the public of the Jonas Brothers. A made-for-radio song that is more than a cash grab. It’s simple and repetitive formula works and is for the better.