Some personal news:
They tricked me! They tricked all of us! Not long after rumors started swirling (again, there was also a false alarm last year), the Jonas Brothers were completely back and they were EVERYWHERE.
I’ve been a Jonas fan since around 2008 and was one of the many totally blindsided by their 2013 breakup. But with all of them still in the public eye, I’d sort of forgotten what I’d been missing over the past six years. Until I had it again, that is.
Joe, Nick, and Kevin have said over and over again in these reunion interviews that there was a “magic” when they were working together that they wanted to recapture, and imo, they’ve succeeded. “Sucker” is such a savvy comeback track, a natural progression from their previous stuff, mature enough to bring in new fans but not such a departure that it alienates existing ones. (Also, look at the total babes they brought with them.)
I’m very much looking forward to a future that I didn’t know we’d ever get to anticipate, but that’s all because of the past. Maybe you didn’t pay much attention to them pre-breakup or maybe you’re only familiar with the singles. To round out your Jonas Brothers knowledge (and give props where props are due), here are some of the band’s best deep cuts, plus a few extras.
The Jonas Brothers were ACTUAL TINY BABIES in bootcut jeans and Ed Hardy shirts on their first album as a trio, It’s About Time. So while it’s all appropriately juvenile and you may be tempted to skip it, there are a couple of bops that I guarantee will make you smile. Oh, the drama of being 13 and “in love.”
The night after you’re phone call me and friends were hanging at the mall
I was not believing what I saw
Holding hands with him and sitting closer then six inches
Hoping she’s not gonna kiss him now
“Goodnight and Goodbye”
Their self-titled second album is much more indicative of what was still to come from the band than the first, as they dropped the Blink-esque pop-punk influence and fully embraced power pop. “Goodnight and Goodbye” could have absolutely been a single, and it’s definitely a fan favorite. Here’s hoping that it still includes an instrumental break for tumbling when it makes it onto the setlist for the reunion tour.
Hold on tight
It’s a roller coaster ride we’re on
So say goodbye
’cause I won’t be back again
“Still In Love With You”
This one could have made it onto this list purely by virtue of the fact that, in the tour filmed for their concert movie, they blasted the audience with WHITE FOAM in the middle of it. (Paging Dr. Freud.) But it’s also a BANGER with one of Kevin’s best guitar solos. And because in this house we love and respect Kevin Jonas, this is important. (Look at him go at 3:14!)
I don’t know what hurts worse baby
Seeing you with him or being alone
On my own
I know he doesn’t love you baby
Not like I did
Oh, what’s the point
You’re not listening anyway
I have to forgive a song about the nonexistent “friend zone” when it’s this pure. They want a picket fence! A rose garden! To watch you walk down the aisle! Also, was there anything worse than your crush being curt to you on AIM when you held your breath for every response? The answer is no, and they should say it.
Small talk on IM
Just one word sentences
It’s cool we’re just friends
“Out of This World”
This weird little song about an alien gal was on the UK version of the second album. It doesn’t QUITE work with the somewhat more sophisticated “I’m a teen with a broken heart” vibe, though it would have made a great theme song to a Disney Channel show that doesn’t exist. So while I can see why it didn’t make the cut as anything more than a bonus track, it’s so clever lyrically and deserves a listen, especially if you’re into space stuff.
We were watchin Star Wars
She looked kinda bored
Said she’d seen it all before
Made me wonder even more
“Gonna Getcha Good”
I’m very here for younger male artists putting respect on the name of country crossover songstress, Ms. Shania Twain. (See also: Harry Styles, Niall Horan.) Out of all the songs the JoBros could have chosen to cover on this tour, they went with this 2002 single about not giving up when, tbh, it sounds like you probably should. (Enduring the shakiness of the video is worth it for the camera person’s guttural “OH MY GOD” around :12.)
I’m gonna getcha; it’s a matter of fact
I’m gonna getcha, don’tcha worry ’bout that
You can bet your bottom dollar, in time you’re gonna be mine
Just like I should – I’ll getcha good
We’ve reached the A Little Bit Longer era, which is where the JBs garnered a little more mainstream success and play outside of Radio Disney. (This is the album with “Burnin’ Up,” their biggest hit, to put it into context.) “BB Good” is the album opener, announcing a little bit of a saucier attitude and Joe stepping up as the flamboyant frontman we all know and love.
Listen girl, you gotta be good
I don’t wanna hurt you
I wanna kiss you!
“Pushin’ Me Away”
EVERY BAND SHOULD HAVE ITS OWN STRING SECTION, though this stripped down version has its own appeal:
Run, run like you do
I’m chasing you
I’m on your tail, I’m gaining fast, you’re going nowhere
Try to fix what you’ve done
And turn back the sun
The night is calling, and we’re falling faster now
Ah, the great Jonas Brothers/Taylor Swift feud of ’09. Of course it was petty. They always are. But it delivered my two favorite point-counterpoint diss tracks of the many she’s written/inspired, her “Forever and Always” and the JB’s “Much Better.” It’s such a joyful bop of of a brutal read, with peppy piano, a HORN SECTION, and when, performed live, a gymnastics routine on the rotating stage’s built-in mini trampoline!
Now, at this show, Joe changed the “now I’m done with superstars” lyric to “now I’m done with country stars,” which all of us (including Nick, look at his face) found very exciting.
Now I’ve got some enemies
And they’re all friends suddenly
But I’m not bitter
Next to the classic “When You Look Me In The Eyes,” this is my favorite Jonas Brothers ballad. (There aren’t a ton – they’re a pretty upbeat band – so they stand out.) Not to get fake deep, but the idea of letting the minor keys of life open up “a world I’ve never known” is pretty comforting.
Note too that Nick has the vocal for almost the entire song, until Joe comes in RIGHT at the end to back him up. Nobody sells an earnest weeper like Nick, and I’ve been missing that in his solo stuff. Get that kid back in front of a grand piano, stat.
Don’t let ’em get
Inside of your head
“Give Love A Try”
Um, hell yes, Jonas counts. For two VERY different seasons, the Jonas Brothers had a Disney Channel sitcom featuring them as themselves?? Sort of?? In Season 1, they went to a private school of some kind and in Season 2, they forgot about all that and relocated them to Los Angeles, re-dubbing the show Jonas L.A. Say what you will about the quality of the show, I happen to think that Kevin has excellent comic timing, Nick’s dry humor translated well, and Joe nailed it as the romantic lead. We were really there for the original songs, of which there were one or two in every episode. You know, like the Monkees.
Anyway, “Give Love A Try” comes from the pilot episode, featuring Nick developing a massive crush on a classmate played by fellow Disney star Bridgit Mendler and writing a song that she doesn’t understand is FOR her. It’s a little Mraz-y and established the wholesome tone of the series right away.
I, I’m just a face you never notice
Now, I’m just trying to be honest with myself
With the world
Jonas L.A. got a little bit grown-up and became more of a rom-com, pairing Nick and Joe up with the show’s two female leads. Look! A grand gesture airport run! Those cute glasses Joe wore for a year and then never again! “Critical” really goes for it, and with another verse and a little more production, would have absolutely worked on a real studio album.
There’s a storm coming up
And I gotta prepare myself
‘Cause this feeling’s
Getting stronger everyday
I vividly remember WHERE I WAS when this bonkers video seemingly dropped out of the sky. Apparently, there was a lot of down time during the filming of Camp Rock 2, during which the JBs, Demi Lovato, their costars, and their sweet giant of a bodyguard Big Rob made up new personas and tried to start a dance craze. The result is nothing short of iconic.
B is for bouncin’
O is for opportunity
U is for a unity
And N is for nutrition
C is for community
And E is for everybody
“Dance Until Tomorrow”
During a long hiatus, this demo from I don’t know when or where surfaced, and revived a sad, lonely fandom. Just a little preview of the pure bliss of this past month of reunion activities.
Your body’s moving
But your mind is somewhere else
And I don’t know how to get there
“What Do I Mean to You?”
On more of a downer note, there was a FULL ALBUM that got scrapped when the band broke up in 2013. If you were there, you know. An album was coming, two singles had dropped, a tour was planned and had already sold. And then they pulled the plug. Or, blew it all up, to be more accurate.
As a consolation, the studio versions of the new songs were released to members of the fan club, and of course, made it to YouTube and elsewhere. I saw them play this Angery Jonas Brothers song live a couple of times and the crowds LOST THEIR SHIT. So, though they seem to be in a much better place at this moment in time, I wouldn’t be mad if one song on the new album tried to recapture some of this rage.
Keys to an open door, it don’t mean a lot
Stains on a dirty floor, you don’t see a spot
What do I mean, what do I mean to you?
Solo Jonas Bonus:
I consider it my duty to remind you, if we’re talking deep cuts, of the solo efforts that got overshadowed by more successful ones, starting with Nick’s first: Nick Jonas and the Administration. Contrary to the sultry dance pop that eventually made him a huge star in his own right, this project had some more classic influences.
“Stay” was a song Nick wrote while the Administration tour was happening (this was a side project while the JBs were still together, btw), and it was added to the setlist and later released as a live single because fans went so nuts for it. This torch song (about Selena Gomez I believe everyone assumed at the time) unleashed his inner Dramatic Hoe and put that falsetto to WORK.
‘Cause you’re not the only one,
Who’s ever felt this way.
Don’t let the world cave in,
Just tell me that youll stay.
“See No More”
Was the Fastlife era the best branding choice for Joe? No.
Will I let the world forget that it happened? Absolutely not.
It’s not that the songs weren’t good, it’s that his entire image was boiled down to “look, he’s hot.” And while that’s certainly true, why, oh why would you strip all the personality away from a performer with SO MUCH OF IT? Joe has to be allowed to live in his own weirdness, which is why DNCE took off like it did. “See No More” is no “Cake by the Ocean,” but I will still sing my dang heart out whenever I hear this song. I remember, Joe. I remember everything.
I can see it in your eyes
You won’t blame on me this time
And I want you back but I won’t look back, no
This band means a lot to me, so thanks for sharing this moment. And if YOU have a favorite JoBros deep cut, let us know in the comments!