Friday, February 5th, 2010

Nick Jonas and the Administration – Who I Am

But you’re not a man, you’re a chicken, Boo…


David Moore: Nick in Nashville, mothers hide yer daughters! So I guess the rationale here was that Nick was sick of everyone superficially comparing him and his brothers to Hanson, so he went off on his own to make sure he actually sounded like Hanson this time out. He’d just love for me to mention Bruce, but I refuuuuuuuuuse. Where do you even play this music? Whatever, I’ve given up trying to figure these Disney kids out.

Pete Baran: I have it on good authority that Nick is the coolest of the Jonas Brothers (an episode of author/cop procedural Castle). Apparently Kevin is the talented one and they couldn’t think of anything good to say about Joe. And Nick needs to be cool to front this solid “don’t love me cos I’m a superstar” country rocker, because there really isn’t anything else happening in the song.

Hillary Brown: I keep thinking that I’ll find the sweet spot where dead-eyed robot child meets capable pop in the music of the Jonas Brothers (a la the Osmonds), but this certainly isn’t it, all heaving breath and uninteresting sentiment.

Michaelangelo Matos: Of course he’s trying too hard while saying basically nothing; he’s a Jonas. What fascinates me are the parallels with the dregs of the late ’80s, and not just because so many of them fudged their cues from the old boss of Nick’s new charges. Not that this song has much at all to do with Prince, unless you’re talking about the Prince who gave songs to Jonny Lang in the ’90s, maybe because Lang used to call himself “Kid” too. Jonas, from this evidence, can keep right on doing so.

Al Shipley: Youngest Jonas has a slightly less annoying voice than Middle Jonas, so right off the bat he’s got an advantage on the group’s stuff. And with the unlikely backing of some New Power Generation alumni, he’s come up with a pretty enjoyable track, at least if “early John Mayer” isn’t the kind of thing that would make you run screaming from a room.

Chuck Eddy: For a teenybopper getting his grown-man on with a Mayer/Maroon 5 move, kinda boppy. Pleasant gentle swing to the percussion (could actually afford to be way more prominent), plus a pinch of powerpop push. Still adds up to mush, Stuart Smalley sentiments and all. But almost bearable mush.

Martin Skidmore: Nick’s attempts to growl sound too young and therefore unconvincing, and the song is weak and without any lift in the chorus. The lyric also sounds like the words of someone frustrated by years of unhappy romances, which is a bit much for a 17 year old.

John Seroff: THIS is what all the “edgy new direction” Jonas talk is about? Sub-mediocre Joe Cocker delivery over Dave Matthews Band orchestration does not the next level make, no matter how many Elvis Costello references you drop. Give me “Burnin’ Up” any day.

Alfred Soto: When Cutie Jonas sings “Nothin’ makes SENSE!” he sounds as convincing as Rick Springfield simulating rage in “Don’t Talk To Strangers”. The rest depends on a rhythm guitar part that borrows liberally from Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and the script handed to every child star. You know — stardom causes them to lose touch with who they are, and so on. Jonas’ clumsy enthusiasm is endearing, though, which makes me think he’s got a “Jesse’s Girl” and “Love Somebody” in him.

Mallory O’Donnell: Less a symptom of startling musical growth, more a handy reminder that the line between earnest teeny-popper and earnest white blues-rocker is thin and oft-crossed (cf. Mayer, Frampton). The fact that both genres seemed to have stopped developing any new musical ideas about 30 years ago only makes the transition that much easier.

Additional Scores

Andrew Casillas: [4]
Anthony Easton: [4]
Doug Robertson: [2]

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