We didn’t deserve the Jonas Brothers during their prime. Wholesome, talented and painfully cute, they were a fleeting zeitgeist that marked the late naughties in a mess of curly hair and saccharine hooks.
It’s been five years since the group parted ways – since then, nostalgia regarding their iconic mark on pop culture has been amplified. ‘Burnin Up’ features on party playlists, Joe Jonas’ presence in Australia as a coach on The Voice has caused hysterics and we’re all still debating who the cutest was of the 3.*
I was a Jonas Brothers superfan for the better part of 3 years, spanning 2007-2010. My walls were plastered with their memorabilia and all of my passwords featured some play on the phrase ‘jobros’.
There’s no denying their hugeness at their prime. Dominating late-night TV slots with performances, MTV and E News! Buzz and raking in millions of sales, their empire was a hormone-fuelled easy cash grab for Disney. Heck, they even had their own movie and TV show – they conquered every trope a tailor-made boy band could’ve.
However, their music never quite received the recognition it deserved – wholehearted critical recognition. It’s fair to say if they were never signed to Disney, they would’ve been touted as enduring pop kings.
Their self-titled second album was a slice of pure bubblegum goodness. In 2007, it sat in my CD collection comfortably next to Infinity On High. Obviously, it’s not the work of genius Fall Out Boy’s third album is, however, it offered the angsty appeal of pop punk, simplistic yet sticky musicianship and saccharine drenched hooks that amplified Nick Jonas’ teen dream persona to the max.
In 2007, All Time Low, The Maine and The Academy Is were the leaders of the Warped Tour scene – this album wasn’t too far removed from the antics of these bands at all. ‘SOS’s staccato guitar riff and electric drum beat was punky enough, with it’s soaring synth-drenched chorus coming through‘Games’ and ‘Just Friends’ further showcased their rock chops, whilst the heartfelt ballad ‘When You Look Me In The Eyes’ showcased a maturity beyond their years.
2008’s A Little Bit Longer was a delve into more mature territory. The album featured ballads for days and their biting pop magnum opus – Burnin’ Up, a track that has transcended generation and taste – we’re not joking. The title track A Little Bit Longer showcased a lyrical maturity beyond Nick Jonas’ 16 (at the time) years. Diving deep into his struggles with Diabetes, it’s honest lyricism struck a chord that teetered way over the edge of Disney fabricated emotion. Tracks like ‘Video Girl’ and the classic-rock tinged ‘BB Good’ were even further
Lines, Vines and Trying Times came in 2009 – their magum opus IMO. Ranging from funk to arena-rock to country it punched way above its teen pop peers.
The Jonas Brothers bridged the world between bubblegum pop and pop punk. Whilst I was wetting my palette with Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy, the Jonas Brothers were there to remind us all that embracing your love of mainstream fodder was totally cool and acceptable.
Although they’re all grown up, on their way to new worlds and bigger and better things (seriously, they’ve all been super successful since the band’s hiatus), the glory days between 2007 and 2009 will always hold a special place in my heart as a time filled with unadulterated passion and infatuation with a boy band who bought nothing but joy.
*Nick was so the cutest.