Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer – review

Produced by John Fields (with Jon Lind and Kevin Jonas, Sr., serving as executive producers), “A Little Bit Longer” covers much musical and emotional ground, kicking off with the joyful jam “BB Good.” Says Joe of the track, “It’s a big sing-along song, and it’s fun.” The funky and danceable debut single, “Burnin’ Up,” keeps the party going, with Big Rob, the brothers’ hefty security guard, rapping midtrack.

jonas brothers
Artist: Jonas Brothers
Title: A Little Bit Longer
Label: Hollywood Records
Rating: 6/10

Corporate line:
Produced by John Fields (with Jon Lind and Kevin Jonas, Sr., serving as executive producers), “A Little Bit Longer” covers much musical and emotional ground, kicking off with the joyful jam “BB Good.” Says Joe of the track, “It’s a big sing-along song, and it’s fun.” The funky and danceable debut single, “Burnin’ Up,” keeps the party going, with Big Rob, the brothers’ hefty security guard, rapping midtrack. “It’s about this girl,” adds Joe. “Maybe she’s at a party, and you feel that immediate connection. You both know it’s there.” Though relentlessly upbeat, most songs on “A Little Bit Longer” explore star-crossed standoffs and missed romantic opportunities. Songs like “Shelf,” the hard-rocking “Pushin’ Me Away” and “One Man Show” survey love’s unequal playing field, bad break-ups and the defiant isolation that follows. “‘Shelf’ is one my favorite songs on the record,” says Nick. “Basically, it’s about a girl that has a gallery of hearts.” Other songs take a light-hearted look at the craziness of fame and fortune. “Video Girl” paints a portrait of the shallow wannabees dotting the entertainment landscape (” Move to L.A., got no talent/Not even like you won a Miss Teen pageant”), while “Lovebug” starts out as sweet-tempered acoustic love song before ending up a crashing Queen-like rocker. Of course, the brothers made sure the album breathes. The power ballad “Sorry” features classic JB harmonies and an eternal message of forgiveness. But the song that will have people talking is “A Little Bit Longer,” Nick’s stunning account of his struggle with diabetes. With strings underscoring a plaintive piano/vocal, he sings about his battle (“A little bit longer and I’ll be fine/Waitin’ on a cure/But none of them are sure”). Recalls Nick, “I was having one of those days where I was discouraged. So I went into this empty hotel ballroom and wrote this song.” Adds brother Kevin, “Nick sings this song every night and it brings people to tears. It’s amazing.”

The good:
“Burnin’ Up” – Justin Timberlake may have passed this song along to the boys. It’s interesting to hear the Jonas Brothers exploring different avenues and doing it admirably.
“One Man Show” – The kids, and maybe some adults, will be playing air-guitar to this song.
“A Little Bit Longer” – It’s surprising that this is the last song on the album–it is the one slower track that actually doesn’t try to be a pop song. It’s a nice ballad that definitely doesn’t suck.
“Video Girl” – This is the kind of song you could imagine Avril Lavigne singing about taking girls to task about wanting to be on MTV with lyrics like: “They all want the money/They’re all insane.”

The rest:
“BB Good” – You could see this being on a soundtrack to a tweener movie.
“Shelf” – One of the heavier rock tracks on the album–that doesn’t sound unlike something Cheap Trick might rock.
“Lovebug” – Very sappy and not as catchy as one might expect from the boys.
“Sorry” – This song is too far off track from the rest of what is essentially a rock album. This sounds more like a song for NSYNC.

Frankly:
Let’s not get too caught up with ourselves, the Jonas Brothers aren’t Cheap Trick, however you can’t deny that both bands have some things in common: pop-rock songs with elementary lyrics and catchy hooks. Yes, Cheap Trick fans will want to take me out back and beat me for making the comparison. Sorry, but there isn’t a huge difference besides the massive Cheap Trick songs and these mass produced pop-rock hits.

Read our interview with the Jonas Brothers from August 3rd, 2006!

Watch the video for “Burnin’ Up”