Ali Bush ’19
In case you haven’t hear, the Jonas Brothers are back. They unexpectedly dropped their new sing “Sucker” last week along with a music video for the song. After breaking up in 2013, the three brothers have apparently worked out their differences and are planning not only an upcoming tour, but also an Amazon documentary about their careers. Their comeback marks a trend in reviving the careers of mid-2000s musicians that were staples of millennials’ childhood memories; however their new song is far more of a subtle pop song than a reincarnation of their past emotional jams.
“Sucker” is a smooth pop song that is markedly more adult and less emotional than the brothers’ past hits. The chorus, unlike the explosion of energy in their old songs, is more of a suave ascension to a chill dance chorus. The Jonas Brothers aren’t so much slamming on guitars like the used to, but coolly whistling and clapping to the beat. Obviously Nick, Joe, and Kevin have all have grown up and learned how to adopt new music trends, but the new song seems to marks a burning out of the impassioned energy that the band once had. Of course, this argument is based on only one song, but the single seems to be far more produced than their original sound, likely influenced by the solo careers of Nick and Joe. In this sense, the song echoes Nick Jonas’s cool, sexy pop songs or DNCE’s jaunty tunes more than it does 2008’s “Lovebug” or “Burnin’ Up.”
The new music video for “Sucker” ensures us that the image of the band has remained somewhat the same. In the lavish music video, the brothers and their wives have an outlandish and artistic tea party in a decadent British mansion. The brothers perform the song for their wives, retaining the clean-cut, romantic image they developed as Disney stars. Instead of wearing their infamous “purity rings,” this time they wear their wedding rings.
Along with the return of Aly & AJ last year, the return of the Jonas Brothers suggests that the music industry sees millennials’ nostalgic love of their childhood music as a major generator of profit. Repackaged for the same, yet more mature audience that obsessed over these artists in the early 2000s, these bands act as way for millennials to relive their childhood memories. As a generation that has trouble letting go of childhood ways, millennials are accused of clinging to childhood music and paraphernalia because they are not able to face adulthood. However, these comebacks are being attributed to millennials’’ “Peter Pan Syndrome,” or inability to let go of childish habits. But what are millennials to do when their favorite bands are pulled from nonexistence by the huge corporation record companies that represent them? This desire to relive some childhood memories should not be criticized, but celebrated as a unique experience. Past generations were never able to see their favorite bands make a comeback, as huge teen bands like the Monkees, The Beatles, and The Smiths never reunited. The Jonas Brothers suave new comeback is proof: it’s ok to pretend to be a teenager for just a little bit longer.
Image Credit: E!