samedi 29 octobre 2011

Here comes Justin Jonas, sorry, his name is Joe...

When I heard Joe was the next from the Jonas Brothers to try and go solo after Nick's previous rock effort, I wouldn't have bet on the dance/R&B direction he has finally chosen. Instead, I would have thought he would have kept with the kids-oriented Disney pop/rock FM sound his former band is successful for. But it seems sexy Joe had more to say/show to his fans and what he has come up to is a kind of new juvenile Justin Timberlake impersonation, which must be an ideal niche, while the former girls' heart-throb is doing the actor.
So Hollywood Records helped Joe Jonas work with trendy top songwriters/producers, like Brian Kennedy, Chris Brown, Claude Kelly, Rob Knox or Danja, to create a full soundblasting record that will rocket to the top of the charts. Truth is, in terms of sales or US charts and despite him opening for Britney Spears Femme Fatale european tour, it looks like it has a little under-performed, but in my heart and from the first listen to his singles, there was no doubt for me that Joe Jonas' first album, Fastlife, was a record I could not do without !

Fastlife starts with All this time, a mid-tempo lovesong produced by Danja, ex-collaborator of Timbaland himself, that first sounds like a romantic ballad but then evolves into a strong rhythmic dance/R&B track. Second single Just in love follows and here comes the first of several pop perfection moments of the CD. Produced by Rob Knox and co-written, like most of the songs here, by Joe Jonas himself, this one has a killer beat, catchy melody and an inescapable electro gimmick that opens the song. The chorus is sticky like glue and you can't do nothing but nod the head in rhythm until the beats stop. Joe's vocals are sexy and soulful, and when you look at his cute look on the CD cover, you can't help but think he has all it takes to become a big star, the kind of who's got thousands of girls screaming out his name in concert and at the door of his hotel.
See no more is next on the album and it is the first single that Joe Jonas unleashed to start his solo career. Co-written with Brian Kennedy and R&B singer Chris Brown who both produced the track, the song is an upbeat electro/pop hit where Joe's vocals shine and reach high notes, with an addictive chorus chant "I don't wanna see no more, oh oh...". Next (and third single in a row) is another Danja produced dance/R&B surefire hit, and this Love slayer is apparently a fans' favourite. Easy to understand why because it has a killer beat and very good memorable chorus with synthé arrangements that makes it very up to date, like a song Rihanna could have recorded for her latest album.
The title track for the album is next on track #5 and this Fastlife starts with the sound of a motor /car running and it is as if I already saw the video for it, with Joe sittin' on a powerful big japanese motorcycle drivin' wild on a nighttime highway with lights passin' his head by with air in his short hair. The song that follows is an 100% electro/R&B anthem with a crazy chorus where different inspiration styles collide to a final mix that sticks to the head. Next track Passing time doesn't miss a beat and this Claude Kelly co-written Danja production is another slice of infectious electro/pop that has a super-catchy chorus. Girls' hearts will melt for sure along the lines of this song if Joe was singin' it to a crowd in concert, with half-naked dancers around him.
Sorry is the first slower time of the album and one song I feel is more personal than the previous ones Joe co-wrote too. It features beautiful romantic guitar solos by Nuno Bettencourt (of Extreme and More than words fame) but still has some good beats put over it after the acoustic intro so it ain't a ballad at all, just a calm but rhythmic mid-tempo, romantic and a little bit sad, but with this guitar melody that goes on like a gimmick all through the song, and it sounds like a hit ! Sure this Sorry will get a single release (even though it clocks at 5'03 and may be edited a little to match radio formats more) and sure then it'll gain back the Jonas Brothers' fans...
Kleptomaniac comes next and it brings back the good beats, for the first song (out of only three) that Joe didn't co-wrote on the album. Electro sounds and killer chaotic beats start the song and the rhythm nearly goes drum 'n' bass while Joe sings the verses, but when comes the chorus, there is no escape and it flies high in the sky of a pop perfection world. Compared to that incredibly good chorus, maybe the verses are a little bit too low in melodic quality but the chorus and its overwhelming appeal embarks you instantly and you can't help but use the REPEAT touch on that track !
Not right now's intro sounds a little as if it was Just in love again but then it is a not so good twin song and I think it is the first album filler on the CD. It still has an uplifting melody and even strong Timberlake ressemblance, so I won't say it is a bad track, but the level was way too high on the previously heard tracks... It was the last song Joe co-wrote as the following last two's don't see him share co-writing credits anymore. First one is Take it and run, another Danja production and an upbeat/mid-tempo electro/R&B with strong chorus. The R&B influence sounds stronger on this one I feel, and it could have easily featured some rap star to make the record more marketable, but that wasn't the choice they made for Fastlife, first... In fact, Just in love has been remixed with a featuring from Lil' Wayne and this new version has appeared as a bonus track on the iTunes download version of the album along the dance remix of the same song, by Moto Blanco. Why not include them both (and the SoulSeekerz remix too) on the physical CD ? Like always, I feel robbed to have bought the real thing instead of the digital copy...
Final track on the actual CD though, Lighthouse, is the slower song of the album, although still not a ballad, but a very slowed down mid-tempo that sounds nearly atmospherical, and a second song that Chris Brown has co-written & co-produced. It is a strange way to end the album, as it doesn't sound at all like the rest of it, but it would have sound odd elsewhere on the CD too for sure so as this song has enough appeal not to have been dropped and put out of the tracklisting, the conclusion slot was the perfect place for it if you think of it.

In conclusion, Fastlife was needed in my discography, even more than Justin Timberlake's two albums that I don't even own, just because of its pop quality : with its tight 11 songs tracklisting, 90% of it is made of the catchiest dance/pop, with today's sounds, nice lyrics, and beautiful vocals by a talented young man who, despite having recorded multiple awarded albums with his brothers already, is only at the start of a long career for sure. Or at least, I hope so !

Find below the videos for his two first singles (and Just in love was recorded in Paris !)

Aucun commentaire:

Publier un commentaire