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Album Review: Nick Jonas’ ‘Last Year Was Complicated’

By Kenneth Barilari

fourstars

Nick Jonas finds his musical niche on Last Year Was Complicated.

 Jonas defeats the sophomore slump with his latest release. Last Year Was Complicated, released June 10, is unlike anything we have heard before from the New Jersey native. His previous hits like “Jealous” and “Chains” seem to have carved the path for the fresh sound he brings to this album. We are a long way from the Jonas Brothers, and we are surprisingly not complaining.

In March, Nick released “Close”, the lead single from the album, featuring Tove Lo. The song is a mesmerizing manifestation of Jonas’ self-professed struggles with opening up to someone.

After hearing the album in full, the lead single fails to match the musicality of some of the other tracks.

Next, Nick released “Champagne Problems”, an up-tempo track that details a couple sharing a bottle of champagne as they decide to break up. The intimacy that Jonas displays on this track is perfectly balanced with its radio friendly production.

In “Chainsaw”, Jonas sings about letting go of the past and finding closure. The song seems therapeutic and leaves the listener feeling like they have listened to something special and taken a journey with the singer. Jonas’ vulnerability on this song in particular, as well as on the ballad “Unhinged”, is incomparable to anything he has done before.

The standard edition of the album contains three collaborations. “Close” featuring Tove Lo, “Bacon” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, and “Good Girls” featuring Big Sean. Of the three, “Bacon” piques the most interest with its unique title and lyrics that get stuck in your head all day. Jonas released the music video for the song exclusively on Tidal, but it has since been uploaded to his official Vevo.

Most recently, Jonas released the music video for his current single, “Under You”. The track, produced by Max Martin, is sure to be a hit for the singer. In the track, Jonas opens up about the regret he feels for not hooking up with someone when he had the chance. The video features Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell and shows the two meeting up and kissing in the shower.

Other notable tracks on the album include “The Difference” and “Comfortable”. There are no tracks that are unlikable, but with the bar set so high by songs like “Chainsaw” and “Champagne Problems”, some are bound to fall behind. “Touch” and “Don’t Make Me Choose” are solid but do not add anything fresh to the album.

Nick Jonas has given us an intimate look into his personal life and found his own sound on Last Year Was Complicated. His Disney days are far behind us as he continues to grow and mature before our eyes. This album is proof of this maturation, and Jonas does not disappoint. Head over to iTunes to purchase the album.

Must Listen: “Chainsaw”, “Under You”, “Champagne Problems”