Pop-Lovers Are Sure To Be Suckers For Happiness Begins
After breaking up for a while, the Jonas Brothers got back together to put out a new album, Happiness Begins. While the band decidedly falls into top 40-pop for the most part, this album does have some fun lyrics and melodies, and interesting harmonies in a few places. The lyrics are fairly simplistic, but they suit the genre perfectly. Perhaps the best thing about this album is that it has a lot of positive, sweet love songs that defy the focus on break-ups, lost love, and internal struggles that seems common in current pop music.
Starting off strong - or at least catchy
The album kicks off with a song anyone who has turned on the radio in the last five months would recognize. “Sucker,” featuring a catchy melody and a whistling refrain sure to infuriate those who, like me, have never been able to whistle more than one note at a time, sets the tone for an album full of sappy love songs. The lyrics, while fairly simple, are both sweet and solid for a top 40 pop song, and my only real complaint here is that we don’t get to hear a lot in the way of harmonies - but then again, I’ve always been a sucker for harmonies. The next song, “Cool,” is as chill as the name suggests. Chock-full of pop culture references, the song screams positive vibes and, dare I say, self love.
A built-in Valentine’s Day playlist
We see our first reference to the album title in “Only Human.” The reggae-inspired beat of this song creates a slight break in the album sound, creating some variety. “I Believe” is another typical, sappy love song, about a whirlwind romance, but speculation that the song is about Nick’s wife, actress Priyanka Chopra, make it a little extra sweet. Later on, “Love Her” brings back the romantic vibes, discussing the compromises and sacrifices that comes with a serious relationship. The simple instrumentation on this track contributes to the genuine, heart-warming message. In a similar vein, “Hesitate” is a love letter promising commitment and support, all anyone could really ask for in love. “Strangers” stands out among the other love songs on this album with its upbeat melody and rhythms. This song is the musical version of a meet-cute, with solid lyrics and vocals.
Just in case it got too sweet...
Things get a little angsty with “Used to Be.” The song is a slower ballad with some interesting harmonies and nice falsetto notes. The lyrics are nothing special, but they do the job. “Every Single Time” brings back the reggae-inspired beat for a break-up song. The falsetto starts to feel like a little too much on “Trust.” While it works well on the harmonies, in the chorus when the falsetto takes the main stage, I’m not particularly fond of the sound, but then again, that might just be personal preference. “Don’t Throw it Away” sits somewhere between angst and love. It’s not a break up song, exactly, but it is hopeful and sad at the same time as the subject asks his lover to take some more time to think about it before ending the relationship. The harmonies on the chorus stand out among other songs.
“Rollercoaster” is a nostalgic song about the band’s early days. This song contains another reference to the album title near the beginning. The melody on the chorus sounds a little bluegrass-y, especially in the context of the rhythms on the first half of the chorus. However, the rest of the song, the vocal style, and the harmonies are a solid reminder that this is, indeed, still a pop song. The lyrics establish a solid, if relatively straightforward, metaphor. It’s a great song to put near the end of the album, invoking nostalgia for anyone who was a fan of the band before they broke up and came back.