Friday, June 24, 2011

Kevin Jonas

Is it just me or is Kevin Jonas really phoning it in these days? This hurts to say, but he seems more concerned with collecting checks and walking down red carpets than being the true musical craftsman he was born to be. No one expects him to return to such heights as Mandy from the Zoey 101: Spring Break-Up soundtrack. Nor can we hope for a duplication of the vortex-bending riffs found on DisneyMania 4’s Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me), but we at least deserve to know he’s trying. Perhaps the rumor mill is right. Perhaps he’s no longer interested in pushing himself creatively.

Until this recent period of uncertainty, Kevin had never been one to shy away from austerity (the poignant Lovebug, the retro-futuristic Year 3000 and the provocative masterworks of Camp Rock2: The Final Jam). These classics provided a much-needed counterbalance to more raucous rave-ups like Set This Party Off and That’s Just The Way We Roll. Whereas 2008’s Burnin’ Up exuded the playful existentialism that planted roots in our collective unconscious, their most recent effort – LA Baby (Where Dreams Are Made) – lacks the compositional tension between innocence and impudence that has always distinguished The Jonas Brothers from their rock counterparts.

And I blame Kevin.

Pitch-perfect Nick Jonas remains at the top of his game and Joe hasn’t skipped a beat with his consistently ferocious and always uncompromising percussive attack. So, the question remains. Where is Kevin and when is he coming back? Maybe the answer lies in the second verse of Year 3000:

He took me to the future in the flux thing, and I saw everything
Boy bands, and another one and another one...and another one!
And girls there with blonde hair, like in Star Wars, they floated up on the floor.

Well, Kevin. The world is waiting for you to float again. Just like in Star Wars.

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