Friday, April 2nd, 2021

Nick Jonas – This Is Heaven

Do not adjust your browser, you did just see Nick Jonas outscore Taylor Swift.


Thomas Inskeep: This has a very 1985 pop throb to it without sounding retro.  Except for that sax solo, my God, that glorious sax solo, which is  totally ripped from the Clarence Clemons playbook. But apart from that,  this is straight-down-the-middle contemporary pure pop, uninfluenced by  other genres (aka no trap drums), incredibly well-sung, destined to be a  massive hit on Adult Contemporary radio in 6 months’ time, and a likely  flop everywhere else. More’s the pity, because this is the stuff.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: As if hearing Nick Jonas finally stop pretending to be a bad boy wasn’t reason enough to rejoice, knowing that this dazzling, sumptuous love song was written about Priyanka Chopra only makes “This is Heaven” even better.

Nortey Dowuona: Nice gorgeous synth progressions over chugging anaconda bass and 2-D drums hide Nick’s keening voice that is still fraying and crumbling as we speak. That said, it’s half as good as the fake Bruce Springsteen album he made when he was actually a gem in the Disney crown , so good for him. (Plus, when he performed it live on SNL, it hit harder than “Spaceman”, so good!) PLUS A SAX TOO! THAT TEARS IT, IM GIVING IT A 7.

Alfred Soto: A decade ago, these two-note keyboard hooks and strenuously joyful sax solos gave, say, “Midnight City” the shimmering surface of how a person born after 1987 imagined the previous six years of pop radio. A decade ago Nick Jonas might’ve sounded retro-fresh. But with Greg Kurstin’s clients Paramore and Tegan and Sara having beaten The Prolific Jonas to the dance party without much to show for their bank statements, I wonder who comprises the audience for “This is Heaven.” 

Edward Okulicz: If Nick Jonas isn’t old enough to authentically channel the 80s, there’s certainly been plenty of copycats he could have himself copied from (my guess is The 1975’s “This Must Be My Dream” is to blame credit for this). It doesn’t matter because this one goes big and pulls off a chorus that is somehow more anthemic than it is cheesy, which is tricky because this is damned cheesy. Jonas is a better mimic than he is a distinct personality — great pastiche is an underrated pleasure, and this is that.

Austin Nguyen: Part of me thinks that the bridge is a sax solo because Nick Jonas et. al were too unbothered to wring out more clichés from a heaven metaphor, but hey, “Lost In Your Light (Gospel Edition)” isn’t a bad starting point.

Juana Giaimo: This is definitely not the first time love has been compared to heaven and probably not the most interesting song about it either, but Nick Jonas feels comfortable with this cliché and fully embraces it, and makes it feel as if it is unique. The music is fun and light and even the sax solo is relaxed. He normally sounds as if he’s in pain, , but here he just flows effortlessly.

Joshua Lu: I’m a sucker for anything with a throbbing bassline, 80s beats, a choir, and a sax solo, and if you told me months ago that Nick Jonas would be the straight white male artist to combine all of these elements, I’d…actually probably believe you, considering his tendencies as a solo act have always leaned towards the funkier sounds underrepresented in the current Top 40 soundscape. Fun, weightless, and unpretentious, “This Is Heaven” is a great slice of ethereal pop, and also everything Shawn Mendes probably wishes his last album had been.

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4 Responses to “Nick Jonas – This Is Heaven”

  1. Oh damn I thought this wouldn’t be going up til next week, I recommended it for coverage but have had issues actually finding the time to review it. Anyway I would’ve given this an [8]. I really like that the song leans into its lightness and cheesiness: I feel like not enough mainstream pop stars have been letting themselves make *fun* music lately, rather than trying to be ambitious and/or serious. The production has a nice groove, the sax solo is perfectly timed, and the melody writing in particular is super strong. Can’t believe Nick Jonas has put out one of my favorite pop songs of the year so far, but here we are, I’m embracing it.

  2. Wondering if you allow comments to go off topic…promise, just for a sec: TSJ just made my day, no, year. Versus radio stations blaring crap music passing as chart numbers I started believing in Armageddon this is the way the world ends not with a bang but the Top 40. Thank you for opinions based on music. As for Jonas effort I am blinded; he continues to give words to beats like he did in Jealous. Syllable slick. I have the ear worm irregardless of cheesy not cheesy. [7]

  3. I, too, wish I could have given this an [8] or a [9], though this is perhaps the first song in recorded history I’ve liked better on SNL than on record.

  4. If this had scored .12 points higher the subhead could’ve been “This is [7]”

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