Back in the late 2000s, the Jonas Brothers were every 11-year-old girl’s picture of the wholesome boys next door who could do no wrong. The trio still maintains this persona almost a decade later, but both the Jonas Brothers and their fans had to grow up eventually.
When the music video for “Sucker” first released in February, fans everywhere were excited for this new era of the Jonas Brothers’ reign all over again — the new additions of Sophie Turner and Priyanka Chopra seemed only to add all the more flair to the grandiose Hollywood family. The music video is flashy and regal at face value, but it all just screams one sentiment: We are famous, and we have money!
To be fair, yes, the Jonas Brothers are on an otherworldly level of fame, and they probably do have enough money to pay the tuition of half the UC Berkeley freshman class. The problem with the music video is that it reads less like a fun piece of art to accompany a catchy song and more like a commercial for “Keeping Up With The Jonases.”
The video for “Cool” was released soon after the one accompanying “Sucker,” and it follows exactly the same theme. Bright colors and clean-cut wardrobes appear once again, but this time, instead of paying homage to the new Jonas wives, we see Nick singing about how cool he is as he dances between rows of women and sports cars. All right, we get it, you’re rich. Back in the day, the Jonas Brothers’ lyrics used to be fun and relatable, about keeping it real and BBing Good. But now, this “When I grow up, I want to be just like me” business is not what most 20-somethings who listened to the band in middle school are feeling now — and certainly not those of us struggling through exams season.
In the videos for both “Sucker” and “Cool,” the boys can be seen pouring alcohol with zoomed-in labels and excessively spraying cologne held up to the camera blatantly — it’s obvious they’re not hiding the commercial vein of their new era. While past music videos were more childlike and focused on their relationship as brothers, the new videos are more about branding and less about them as artists.
Now, let’s talk about their upcoming tour, the “Happiness Begins Tour.” No one’s happiness is beginning with these ticket prices. The Jonas Brothers’ OG fanbase is currently made up of young adults — you can bet no one is happy paying $150 for mediocre seats in the arena when there are groceries and rent to pay for.
Sure, the Jonas Brothers are probably big enough to get away with that kind of pricing. If people are unable to drop $150 on one night, however, how could the band claim to be supporting its fans? Somebody has to pay for all three days of Nick Jonas and Chopra’s weddings, I suppose.
Additionally, the new sound of their music is basically a revival of DNCE, the band Joe Jonas helped to create after the Jonas Brothers initially broke up. DNCE holds the same power-pop vibe that all of the new Jonas Brothers songs claim. Before their return, the Jonas Brothers always kept fans on their toes for when the next genre bend was coming, mixing rock, big band and even funky pop undertones in their music. Of course the new full album may present a less predictable tone, but for now, it seems like we can expect even more formulaic Top-40s pop hits.
The Jonas Brothers used to be admired for their humility, dedication to their fans and down-to-earth spirits, but now fans are stuck trying to guess when the next round of product placement is going to sneak its way into another self-absorbed music video.
It’s obvious that the New Jersey boys have grown up, no longer maintaining the wholesome Disney image they knew for so long. Despite the issues mentioned, are dedicated fans still going to try to make their way into the venue for the new tour? Absolutely.
There are much bigger things to worry about than whether or not the Jonas Brothers’ comeback is following how teenage fans might have imagined it would go. But there’s still a lot to be said about watching your childhood idols grow up — sometimes, they don’t end up to be as cool as you thought they would be.