BY MIMI HUCKINS ’21
A typical morning for me in 2009 would begin when I boarded the school bus, often in my Camp Rock t-shirt, listening to the Jonas Brothers’ album “A Little Bit Longer” on my purple iPod Nano. The Jonas Brothers defined a very memorable period of my life. Nick Jonas was my first celebrity crush. I threw a fit when my mom wouldn’t let me buy a Camp Rock duvet cover which featured extremely enlarged faces of each brother.
Yet I’ve gone through plenty of phases being obsessed with boy bands and Disney Channel Original Movies, and they always end up being left in the past. They have all gone from being an obsession to nothing more than a nostalgic memory, although sometimes I still listen to “Burnin’ Up” to remember how I felt listening to it in 2009, and it’s always an extremely visceral experience. Plus, Nick Jonas singing “red dress” is no doubt the most iconic moment in music history, and no one can convince me otherwise.
Jonas Brothers fans were ecstatic when it was announced that they would be releasing new music. Finally, nostalgic young adults around the globe were able to relive their youth. Their single “Sucker” was released on Friday, March 1. “Sucker” is currently No. 1 on iTunes, which is not surprising to anyone. People love to relive happy memories from their youth whenever possible. Personally, listening to music from when I was 10 is one of the best ways for me to calm down, relax and feel content. Nostalgia is a powerful force, and because of that, it sells. This is evident while looking at other forms of media, such as the popularity of the reboots of Twin Peaks, Gilmore Girls and Queer Eye. So, even though I’m a huge sucker (pun intended) for the Jonas Brothers, I feel like the whole “we’re getting back together” statement is somewhat forced and driven by a desire for continuing wealth and success.
My first thought listening to “Sucker” was, “this is a bop.” The second was, “this is not the Jonas Brothers.” Although music style obviously changes with time, there was no time for growth from their previous album to their current single due to the duration of their separation as a band. Even though their song is fun to listen to, it pretty much just sounds like new Maroon 5 with more clapping instead of what I remember listening to on my iPod Nano.
Additionally, they are releasing a documentary in the near future with Amazon. I’m not sure why we need this when we still have “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience,” but I am certain they will make a huge profit.
The Jonas Brothers currently have over six million monthly listeners on Spotify. They were such a huge part of so many young people’s lives in the 2000s that they clearly still have a strong influence today. Most fans are probably in their 20’s now, and the Jonas Brothers have certainly adjusted their content based on their now grown-up target audience. The release of a music video with sexual themes, the making of a documentary that no one would have had the attention span for in elementary and middle school and their use of social media to promote their content are all selling points that most likely work best on our specific age group.
It’s no crime to enjoy music, but I believe it’s important to distinguish the Jonas Brothers that defined your childhood from the Jonas Brothers “brand” that has been slapped on this song. It’s important to acknowledge what you are supporting and what the music means to you before funding it. So, although I enjoy “Sucker,” I believe the only true way for me to experience my Jonas Brothers nostalgia is to listen to “Lines, Vines And Trying Times” until I lucid dream Nick Jonas serenading me on a yacht.