Likes: Love Slayer, Fastlife, Sorry
Overall: Great solo album. Defies expectation. I enjoyed it more than anticipated.
For Joe Jonas’ debut solo album, he surprisingly departed from the Jonas Brothers’ usual pop-rock sound and went for a fun and funky mixture of pop/R&B with electronic-dance. Although the album could be accused of being contemporary “run-of the mill” because of the presence of dance music, what makes “Fastlife” stand out is that its R&B influence is more traditional versus the pop-diluted version that’s become increasingly popular over the last few years, making it reminiscent of Justin’ Timberlake’s “Justified.” Some tracks are nondescript and function as filler, but most are likable and catchy. Similarly, the lyrics-mostly about relationship troubles- are occasionally unsophisticated. Vocally, Jonas’ isn’t as nasal and whiny as we’ve heard before, which is a relief and more pleasant to the ears. I didn’t expect to enjoy this album, but I have to say it’s one of my favorite albums of this year.