“Happiness Begins” Album Review

Call it the “Year 3000” because the Jonas Brothers have released their first full length album, Happiness Begins, in ten years!

Having written or cowritten all fourteen songs on the album, brothers Nick, Joe, and Kevin are channeling a new sound and vision for the rebirth of their band. From “Video Girl” to “Love Her,” it is quite obvious that their sound has matured and their lyrics have evolved to accompany their new vibe.

The release of their single, “Sucker”, gave fans a taste of what this new music would have in store, but the rest of the tracks don’t quite deliver the same excitement factor as the lead single. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but let’s delve further into the album that is Happiness Begins.

“Cool” follows “Sucker” on the track list and has the potential to be a go-to summer party tune. It’s an anthem of self-love perfect for a beach trip playlist. I listen to this song and I just feel automatically better. The tempo could be a bit faster, but that’s a minor critique.

It wouldn’t be a Jonas Brothers song without a red dress, and “Cool” brings it. 

“Standin’ there with the red dress on ya
A Killer Queen like a young Jane Fonda”

-Cool, Jonas Brothers

Can I get a “high heels”?

“Only Human” hits well with reggae vibes and sick beats. It slickly name drops the album title, “Happiness Begins” which I always appreciate. It sounds like a song that would play in the background at a Starbucks. It is also on the slower side, so maybe not a party bop, but definitely a car ride essential.

With the upbeat tune, “Happy When I’m Sad,” the repetition of the chorus and bridge is almost too much to the point where I stop enjoying the song after 45 seconds. It’s at the bottom of the list in terms of favorites.

One thing I learned in poetry class is to avoid clichés at all costs. Unfortunately, “Trust” did not get the message. Verse one ends with “Well, we were thicker than thieves / like a pod, two peas”. Now, this isn’t necessarily bad, but I just personally feel that the Jonas Brothers have more to offer than a basic cliché such as two peas in a pod. This is also another one of the more repetitive songs on the album, having the word “trust” in it sixteen times.

I was pleasantly surprised with “Strangers.”A lovely follow-up to get me back into the album because it was seriously dragging for a couple songs. This song makes me feel happy and I just want to sing to it. This one will be particularly wonderful performed live.

“Hesitate” really is that song. Joe Jonas told Apple Music that the lyrics are from a letter he wrote to his wife, Sophie Turner. The sincerity of the lyrics coupled with the beautiful arrangement complement each other so beautifully. It is probably one of my favorite songs on the album.

“Rollercoaster” is another one of my favorites. It is a perfect party jam and has a great story to it. It is what I hoped for in lyrics for the whole album. The balance in dynamics, tempo, and beat truly make this song a hit. “Rollercoaster” is a very Jonas Brothers song. If I were to use one song from the album to describe them, this is it.

“Comeback” being the closing song for the album has a euphoric affect. Not outright being about their actual comeback as a band, but stating that they will come back to their loves, is a nice touch, almost punny. I love a good pun, but not as much as I love this song.

If I had to sum up the entire album in three words, I would use: relaxed, beachy, and retro.

Perhaps it’s the overuse of pre-choruses, choruses, and unnecessary bridges, but a few tracks sit at a 5 out of 10 in regard to lyric quality. The use of excessive repetition in songs such as “I Believe,” “Every Single Time,” “Happy When I’m Sad,” and “Trust.”

I’m not quite sure exactly what I was expecting from this album since it has been ten years. I suppose it was silly to expect anything like the debut because that was so long ago. I’m not disappointed in Happiness Begins by any means, but I do feel that it could have been better. The problems I have with it are mainly due to lyrics. The songs themselves are quite catchy the more I listen, and I will continue to listen to them over the summer. We all have our diamonds in the rough. There are more good songs than not, and I really enjoyed listening to the new music and reading through the lyrics. The boys can only go up from here and I look forward to everything else they will deliver in the future.