Tag Archives: Kenneth Barilari

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

By Kenneth Barilari


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”

Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation Golf Invitational

Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation’s Golf Invitational took place at the Montclair Golf Club in West Orange on May 9. #HipNewJersey was there to give you an inside look.

HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino had the privilege of speaking with the man of the hour, former New York Giant David Diehl, about the event. “This isn’t about me,” Diehl said. “Everyone is out here for the single purpose of helping change people’s lives and changing the lives of children so they could still pursue their dreams and let them be kids again.” Diehl went on to say that the most rewarding thing in the world is “the impact that we will have on kids’ lives forever.”

Kevin Walter, former Houston Texan also came out to support. He expressed his excitement to “Have a good time, enjoy each other’s company, and raise money for a good cause and a good hospital.”

WABC anchor Ken Rosato expressed that Clara Maass Medical Center is “one of the best hospitals in the region.” It currently has the number one emergency room in the nation and is constantly expanding.

“When hospitals are closing down in urban areas all over the country, this hospital is growing,” Rosato explained.
He said that the hospital is a beautiful and vibrant place to go, encouraging those who have not yet seen it to visit.

“In the community, if you need something done, you go to Clara Maass,” Rosato stated. For more information on Clara Maass, head over to BarnabasHealth.org/ClaraMaass.

Media Personality Bill Spadea On The Presidential Election

Hip New Jersey and its organization are made up of a diverse group of men and women who have vast knowledge in local and international relations, views and world knowledge. We support all nominees and will be eager to see the best man or woman win in November.

Hip New Jersey’s Armand Cucciniello recently spoke with media personality Bill Spadea about the current presidential election.

Bill Spadea currently hosts Chasing News on FOX Television and is the morning drive host on New Jersey 101.5. He is a former United States Marine and Real Estate Executive from New Jersey.

Bill was inspired to go into media after receiving a call from a reporter with FOX Television in 2012 asking him to be a part of a show that they were developing. Spadea showed up and saw a man running towards him. The man approached him and said, “Has anyone ever told you, you have an unusually large head?” That man was Jerry Burke, Executive Producer of Chasing News. “And that was it,” Spadea said.

When asked how social media has changed rallying the youth vote since the 90’s, when he was elected Chairman of the College Republican National Committee, Spadea stated that social media platforms have helped people get into politics.

“Inside politics are now happening in broad daylight, in full view of everyone,” he says. “Everyone’s on Twitter, everyone’s on Instagram.” Before hiring someone, a company checks out the candidate’s social media profiles. With that scrutiny on every profession, politics become “a little more palatable.”

When asked what challenges candidates today face in attracting the youth vote, Spadea gave a surprising response. “Young people have always been smarter than the media likes to give them credit for.” He specifically points out that college students are “engaged in a real debate.”

The former United States Marine also spoke out about his view of the state of the US Military and leadership. “Too often, politicians want to politicize the military,” he states. Thus, the sacrifice that the men and women are making is forgotten. He believes that the leaders in Washington do not have a real perspective. “It’s too much of a political tool, and we missed the mark.”

So, should we keep boots off the ground? “To me, this is a decision not for politicians,” he states. “It’s a decision that the politicians can make with the thoughtful advice of the military.”

When it comes to Governor Chris Christie, Spadea believes that the Governor has an advantage. Christie was “one of only establishment Republicans to come out forcefully for Donald Trump.” So, if Trump wins, “who knows what’s next for Chris Christie?” This would mean that Christie would be “reborn” as a national politician.

Does Spadea believe that Trump could beat Hillary Clinton? Yes, he does. “Trump is talking about jobs. It’s about jobs. It’s about us. It’s about making sure that we as Americans have a bright future, and right now Trump is the only one speaking that language, so it could easily be Donald Trump.”

Thank you to Bill Spadea for taking the time to speak with us, and be sure to check out Chasing News.