It’s 2008. You seek refuge in your room plastered with J-14 posters of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens. The largest one is of Demi Lovato with the Jonas Brothers; you’ve been obsessed since the first Camp Rock movie just came out.
You’ve been following the drama about Nick Jonas and Miley — will they stick it out through this rough patch in their relationship or will you finally have a chance with the boy of your dreams? You’re hoping it’s the latter.
With the release of the Jonas Brothers new single, Sucker, it is 2008 again. All those teenyboppers from back then promoted the new single on their Instagram stories. That’s how I found out about the song. Oh, the power of social media.
To give some commentary on the song itself, it’s pretty fair for a comeback. While the Jonas Brothers are for sure profiting off of nostalgia, they are not resorting back to their uber pop sound. Sucker is still a pop song, but it meets us somewhere in the middle of pop and loosely experimental — for them, at least.
Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man is the best comparison that comes to mind. Portugal. The Man appealed to the masses with their last album, Woodstock, whereas the Jonas Brother’s shift to a very mild alternative sound on this single.
The two intertwine a little in sound, but certainly in vocals, as Nick’s leading falsetto sounds exactly like his tone in Feel It Still. It’s interesting to see how an overtly pop band like The Jonas Brothers could fall along similar lines as a previously alt-rock band like Portugal. The Man.
Lyrically speaking, the single is a classic pop song. Catchy and endearing lines fluff it up:
“We go together / Better than birds of a feather, you and me / We change the weather, yeah / I’m feelin’ heat in December when you’re ‘round me”
On its own, the song is blasé. But paired with the high-production music video, it ties it all together. The music video, released simultaneously with the single, makes up for the lack of depth in the song as it features Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner, and Danielle Jonas, all of the significant others of the three brothers.
The establishing shot sets the tone of the richesse and royalty to come, as it shows the Hatfield House. According to an interview with the director of the music video, Anthony Mandler, it is one of the largest estates in England. A huge center fountain with modern art in it enhances the grandeur of the mansion, as a line of shrubs and trees lead the eye straight to the front doors of the home.
The music video is decadent and not at the same time. Everyone overindulges in gluttonous habits: stuffing their faces with cake, drinking then spitting out champagne in porcelain bathtubs, and using a space reserved for civility and politesse as a place to waste and party.
Fluffy skirts, showy jewelry, and colors contrary to typical royalty decorate each of the women, while each of the Jonas Brothers wear forgettable monochrome outfits. The mere costuming of each person reminds the audience of one thing: this is not just a song about their women, but it’s for their women.
Priyanka, Sophie, and Danielle play on old roles of sociability and courting. Their game of attraction is lightly feminist; they don’t chase after the brothers, rather they keep them wanting more. Sometimes they watch them and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’re nice and sometimes they’re not. There’s a clear sense of yearning, and in the end, each of the brothers succumb to the desires of the women, not the other way around.
My overall rating for the release—both the song and the music video—is a 6.5/10. I’m not as disappointed as I anticipated to be, but I wonder: will the Jonas Brothers revert to overly simplistic pop, or will they exceed expectations for something better?
Track Review By: Blake Lew-Merwin