ARTIST OF THE MONTH: JONAS BROTHERS | A LITTLE BIT LONGER (2008)
We continue our spotlight on the Jonas Brothers with “A Little Bit Longer,” their third album. It was the second overall album released under the Hollywood Records prison umbrella. It was released in the summer of 2008, post-“Camp Rock” release. Fun fact: the album is named after the song Nick Jonas wrote about being type 1 diabetes. The album takes what was good about their second album, “Jonas Brothers,” and makes it better. The rock feel continues onto it. It’s definitely more rock here than what we got in the past two. It also fits well with the album they were producing at the time which is Demi Lovato’s debut album “Don’t Forget.” released also in 2008, by Hollywood Records.
The narrative of most boyband albums goes something like: feeling the pain of rejection, finding someone else who could be the one, and then doing everything humanly possible to prove to them that their love would last forever. In this fashion, the Jonas Brothers don’t stray far from the norm. But hey, if it has not broken, don’t fix it. With the popularity of past boybands as evidence, superficial romance songs are unavoidable, and the real goal is to execute them in a way that seems sincere, which the Jonas Brothers accomplish. Tracks about unrequited love that could easily seem redundant, like “Can’t Have You” and “Shelf,” are presented in catchy and upbeat ways that would have even the most determined hater unsuspectingly humming along. The most popular track on the album by far was “Burnin’ Up.” Upon re-listening, the first chord of the song triggered vivid memories of dozens of girls squealing at an elementary school dance. Complete with a rap from the boys’ bodyguard Big Rob, it’s undeniably something I’d be happy to have come up on shuffle. Similarly, “Lovebug” didn’t bring upon the shame that usually comes with listening to the music of past Disney stars. While the rest of the album was “good for a boyband,” these two tracks are genuinely good.
“A Little Bit Longer” is the best album in their discography. It’s a strong album that doesn’t have a bad song. Some are stronger than others, but it’s an enjoyable experience. The boys co-wrote every song, and they consistently bring you ripping guitar solos and swelling choruses, which are sure to get the hearts pumping of more than just their young female fans. Winning smiles and clear skin contributed to the Jonas Brothers’ fame, but "A Little Bit Longer" proved that they were a little more talented than most would have liked to admit.