Two years after the release of his debut self-titled solo album, Nick Jonas returns to the music scene with “Last Year Was Complicated” a break-up album depicting the end of two relationships.
Dubbed a break-up album, Jonas found the inspiration for the record from two relationships in the past year: the first with former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo and the second with actress Kate Hudson.
In an interview with People magazine about the new album he states, “I was trying to be as honest as possible — it really is pulling from this chapter of my life. I wrote a lot up in Mammoth, CA. where I spent a lot of time with my ex.” Jonas doesn't say which "ex."
Collaborating with Tove Lo, Ty Dolla $ign and Big Sean, Jonas’ new album features a mix of sensual and very serious tones ("Close," "Under You") with more playful and lighter themes ("Bacon," "Touch"). Jonas plays with romantic themes, as a break-up album often does, by wishing to relive the past and dealing with the grittiness of post break-up anger.
With ups and downs, Jonas' new album shines as a chronicle of the young singer's latest chapter in his life. From the first song, listeners are treated to both eerie instrumental and synthetic sounds with ranging harmonies and high falsettos.
"Voodoo" gives Jonas the freedom to play with scales and a vibrato-filled chorus. The singer sings about the urge to jump back into his relationship, "and we ain't enough, If this is what you call love, I swear I'm better alone." The eerie sounds of the chorus mixed with the raw desire to be done with being attached make for a hit that'll be on radios very soon.
2. "Champagne Problems"
Likely to be another single, "Champagne Problems" was released before the album dropped and tells the more tumultuous side of the singer's relationship. CP shows the indecisiveness of making up, and subsequently breaking up, "how did our clothes end up on the floor? Didn't we just break each other's hearts?"
3. "Close (feat. Tove Lo)"
The super-sensual collaboration with artist Tove Lo shows Jonas' softer side, fighting to communicate and yes, to get "Close." The balance of Jonas' and Tove Lo's voices exercise each other’s strengths with softer vocals and more pointed words, "ain't going backwards, won't ask for space, cause space is just a word made up by someone who's afraid to get too close." Strong leading song for the album, "Close"reached number 15 on Billboard, spending nine weeks on the chart.
If you're looking for the gut-punch song on this break-up album, look no further. The lyrics compliment the volatile music video, "and maybe I'll just take a chainsaw to the sofa where I held your body close for so long, so long, I'm gonna break the f*cking china, cause it's just one more reminder you're gone, you're gone." If there was any doubt before, Nick Jonas is no longer a Disney kid.
With an oddly reminiscent of the Jonas Brother days, the chorus is catchy and has a boyband beat that can easily get stuck in anyone's head. "Touch" is both romantic and unsentimental, "I go from touchin' you with both hands, babe, to touchin' you with no hands."
6. "Bacon" (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
Perhaps the best part of this song: "Aw shit, throw some bacon on it." "Bacon" is both light and sensual, pulling from bedroom scenes and late nights at clubs, "doing what I wanna do." Jonas might love being with you, but he sure loves his bacon.
7. "Good Girls" (feat. Big Sean)
Jonas and Big Sean team up with this futuristic-sounding club song about one simple song, "when did all these good girls go bad?" Though it isn't terrible, Big Sean's verse isn't necessary.
8. "The Difference"
Jonas' signature sensual beats and pointed attacks blend, "you're looking for love, you say nothing's good enough."
9. "Don't Make Me Choose"
Jonas brings the soul with "Don't Make Me Choose," with a strong beat and unique rhymes in this honest ballad about choices. Jonas' repetition of numerous lines of the song lends to the break-up album tone: "if you really love me, you would never judge me."
10. "Under You"
Jonas delivers another hyper-sexualized and extremely dramatic music video — if that’s your thing — with actress Shay Mitchell of "Pretty Little Liars" fame. As you can imagine, "Under You" is about getting over, or possibly under, someone.
Here it is: the slow sad ballad that every break-up album needs. You know, that song that says how broken you are. "I'm afraid to find out that I might be right for you, cause it's one step closer to life with you, and that's not me, yeah."
Now this song, I'm not entirely sure how it fits. It's got hints of trap or club music, then some sort of remix of a song made for a gym workout. While It isn't terrible, it doesn't seem to fit.
There’s no doubt that Jonas is here to stay, but if you find yourself wanting more after this, you can find him:
On the "Late Late Show with James Corden" in Carpool Karaoke:
You can also catch up with Jonas on tour with fellow Disney Channel alum Demi Lovato this summer.