We all know that sex sells and with a shirtless crutch grabbing photo shoot and countless sexual identity comments there’s no denying Nick Jonas knows this too. Completely re-inventing his sound and image for the release of his second solo studio album he has taken a sexually driven route that’s unsurprisingly got people talking. If you think it’s tacky or if it turned you on it succeeded either way because here you are wanting to know what his album is like. Opening with the beat shattering “Chains” Nick Jonas introduces the listeners to his dark new electronic approach. Vocally he’s matured a lot from his debut album and now experiments with falsetto and seems more confident with his register. The infectious Usher-esque “Jealous” allows him to step up and showcase the man he’s become with this ultra-cool vibe to the chorus that WILL have you bopping along. “Teacher” almost sounds like a Pharrell Williams produced track with the throwback disco era that he’s trying to bring back and I’m loving it. The strongest track on the album comes from the sexually driven jam “Wilderness”. With the lyrics “Naked as the day we were born. Did you know it could feel like this, feel like this? I’ll take your body back, take it back, take it back to the wilderness” you can’t help but wish he was singing it to you. “Numb” sees him experimenting with stronger beats with help from Angel Haze spitting an incredible verse that will have people who are unfamiliar with her an instant fan. He continues the heavy synths on the mediocre “Take Over” and “I Want You”. They’re not the worst songs on the album but they aren’t the best tracks either. They have potential and grow on you over time but with the over production they lose the intimacy and emotional vulnerability. “Warning” is just an annoying over produced RNB song that well and truly needs the skip button while “Push” is highly forgettable. One of the most talked about collaborations for this album was “Avalanche” that features his brother’s ex-girlfriend Demi Lovato. I expected to fall in love with this song straight away but the disappointing ballad doesn’t take you on an emotional rollercoaster like how they hoped and fizzles out pretty quickly. Album closer “Nothing Would Be Better” is the Nick Jonas I wanted to hear more from; vocally confident, powerful and inspiring. The production begins minimalistic and builds for a massive climax that finishes the album perfectly.
Overall the self-titled album is a bit messy and needed some work to further define the sound and image. I would’ve liked to have heard more personal and stripped back tracks that highlight his vocal range. Saying that I did enjoy hearing Nick Jonas adopt this mature synth sound adding in commendable falsetto and see him growing as an artist.