Like the smashed glass on the cover artwork, Nick Jonas’ newest album was released this month with a bang. Last Year Was Complicated hits hard, as the former Jonas Brother explores his transition to adulthood and the emotional turmoil in the wake of a breakup. Honing in on a sound best-described as “bachelor pop”, Jonas reminisces and resents, but mainly accepts the fact that it’s all over.
The record is heavy with emotion, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t scrimp on the catchy tunes. Summoning a roster of big-name artists, Jonas collaborates with Tove Lo, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean and Daniella Mason. Powerful opener Voodoo’s exotic groove kicks things off, while Champagne Problems embraces the eardrums with pumping bass.
Jonas’s method has always been to avoid overwhelming the listener with bravado or complicated music. Here, he comes off personable and versatile. He admits to a fear of intimacy on Close – featuring Tove Lo – and experiments with more organic-sounding instrumentation on Touch. Under You reassures that we’re not the only ones finding comfort in Taylor Swift after a split.
The album is a bridge between the former Disney star’s fun, pop past and his new edgy, urban sound.
Contains strong language