The Jonas Brothers are back
Of all the things I expected to happen in 2019, the Jonas Brothers reuniting was never one of them. But we tweens and teens of the late aughts can rejoice: after nearly six years, the best brother band is back, and the balance of the universe has been restored.
While the signs were there, the announcement and new single came as a surprise. Last year, the band’s social media accounts were reactivated, but nothing came of it until Feb. 28, when the accounts were blacked out and they announced that they were dropping a new single, “Sucker,” due at midnight on March 1.
Cue the screams, the memes, the cries of joy. Personally, I was excited, but my action didn’t really come until I saw the music video. If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t a huge Jonas Brothers fan. I never saw them in concert, I didn’t own any of the “Future Mrs. Jonas” t-shirts, and I didn’t even buy any of the CDs.
But if you grew up during that time, you understand. The Jonas Brothers were everywhere. Everyone from ages five to 15 watched Camp Rock. We remember Joe’s crazy hair, Nick’s wild curls, and Kevin’s … poor Kevin, the older, responsible one who didn’t sing as much and was in a long-term relationship. No matter. We remember the excessive vests and scarves and sunglasses. “Burning Up” and “Lovebug” on loop.
Since the band’s not-so-amicable breakup in 2013, Joe and Nick have seen solid solo success, while Kevin semi-retired from music and became an entrepreneur and a father. Joe’s band DNCE had the 2015 earworm “Cake by the Ocean,” while Nick’s “Jealous” and “Chains” were all over pop radio and he ventured into acting roles. And both are probably just as famous for their celebrity relationships: Joe with fiancé Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones, and Nick with new wife Priyanka Chopra, a huge international Bollywood star.
But a reunion wouldn’t work unless the song (and subsequent music) was good. Their solo success makes the comeback feel more authentic (versus washed up, middle-aged former boy banders coming together to make some money), and legions of JoBros fans would eat up concert tickets, but without decent music, they wouldn’t survive. The music industry in 2019 is vastly different than it was in 2009, at the height of their fame, or even 2013, the last time they released music together. They’re no longer perfect Disney products, but that’s probably a good thing.
Fortunately, “Sucker” is good. Co-written and co-produced by pop mastermind Ryan Tedder, the song is light and breezy, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Nick and Joe trade verses about being infatuated with someone, singing about being “a sucker for you.” It mixes elements of Nick’s solo pop career with DNCE’s fun, funky pop. With a breathy baseline, rhythmic claps, and jazzy whistles, the high falsetto of their voices gets to shine. I can see it dominating pop radio from the spring into summer.
“Sucker” is a catchy song, but what it really has going for it is an expertly planned and produced music video. Starring their significant others, Turner, Chopra, and Kevin’s wife Danielle Jonas, the self-dubbed “J sisters,” the video is romantic and fun and makes a bold statement that the Jonas Brothers are all grown up. There will be no “Future Mrs. Jonas” shirts anymore. Taking place in Hatfield House, the castle featured in The Favourite and where Queen Elizabeth I grew up, the video has Alice in Wonderland vibes with bright colors, extravagant costumes, fancy tea parties, and bubble baths in the hedge garden. The video ends with the three couples posing for an old-masters style painting, driving the point home that this new era is all about family.
I’m excited for what comes next. The Jonas Brothers will release an album, go on tour, maybe do it again, or perhaps maintain their solo careers. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that sometimes childhood memories can come rushing back in a tornado of nostalgia, and that can’t help but put a smile on my face.