Unbeknownst to the world, on October 29th, 2013, a sliver of joy disappeared without any hope of a resurrection. After a lengthy decade hiatus, it’s clear that it’s returned tenth fold, as have the the best boy band (or rather now, man-band) of the modern day to rightfully reclaim their special spot in pop music, The Jonas Brothers. After a random social media surprise announcing the band was back together on February 29, nothing could prepare fans for the fifth full-length album they thought they’d never receive, titled so fittingly, Happiness Begins.
The Jonas Brothers have taken the time they needed to grow up and into men separate from their sibling identities, with a newfound independent, unapologetic confidence. Some of their biggest hits, like ‘S.O.S’, or ‘Burnin Up’, are obviously still them and something they can be proud of, but without the Disney brand backing them, they have the creative freedom to just make what they want to. Happiness Begins doesn’t have a pop-rock element like 2008’s A Little Bit Longer, or try a jazzy approach like 2009’s Lines, Vines and Trying Times. All good ventures, sure, since it’s important for artists to explore their sound, but they know now more than ever that straight pop is the gold for them.
The lead single, ‘Sucker’, offers the nostalgic harmonious melodies we couldn’t help but miss hearing from the New Jersey trio, with a sound so alluringly electric it leaves new and old fans wanting more.
No songs in their discography more appropriately describe the Jonases’ relationship to their fans, or each other, than ‘Rollercoaster’ and ‘Comeback’. ‘Comeback’ is the much-needed full-circle closure moment about always returning to the people you love, “whatever we’ve done, whatever we’ll do, baby, if you come back now, I’ll come back to you.” Loyalty, ladies and gentlemen. Truly beautiful. In ‘Rollercoaster’, no words spoke truer to my suppressed teenage soul more than, “we weren’t just a phase, we weren’t just pretend”, and the chorus of, “it was fun when we were young and now we’re older, those days that are the worst, they seem to glow now, we were up-and-down and barely made it over, but I’d go back and ride that roller coaster with you.” So take that, middle school bullies, look whose having the last laugh.
The classic JoBros swoon quality they were once so know for is once again delivered on a silver platter, but this time with songs inspired by their wives. Joe truly tugs at the heart strings, crooning “I thank the oceans for giving me you, you saved me once, now I’ll save you too, I won’t hesitate for you”, while Nick’s ‘I Believe’ makes any single person long for true love, with “I’ve been waiting, for a reason, ain’t no turning back, cause you showed me something I can’t live without”. Though the catchy nature of the entire album, such as songs ‘Don’t Throw It Away’, and ‘Cool’, make it difficult to choose a favorite, ‘Strangers’ is the welcoming underdog that feels as though something life-changing is taking place, with sentimental lyrics such as,”you found me right before I’ve given up”.
As an ultra supportive fan myself that was more crushed over their disbanding than any of my real-life relationships ending, it was nice to know that my inner 13-year-old is still capable of thriving full-throttle all these years later. I think I speak for all Jonas fans when I say that, no matter how many times I listen to this record, joy just completely takes over. The feeling of your favorite artist unexpectedly returning to the forefront when it didn’t seem possible is indescribable, except for that it’s the nothing short of the best. Welcome back Jonas Brothers; thank you for bringing back a happiness that’ll truly never end.