Tuesday, August 26

Deliberations #1: JoBros don't JoBlow

Not so much a review, but a general dissertation about what's rolling around in the ol' brain-piece, music-wise.

Artist: The Jonas Brothers
Album: A Little Bit Longer

Comments: It has always been my assumption that someday I will have children. I am aware that this sort of secret dream is one of the most decidedly un-manly things a dude can confess. None the less, it is a sincere hope of mine to someday have a little pup wandering around the house, defiling my well ordered CD collection and breaking my vinyls into jagged shards of hip.

Of course, being an unbearable snob and self-obsessed creature of vanity, the listening habits of my future children will be paramount. I don't relish in the idea of my hypothetical children rocking out to whatever mainstream superficiality the radio will be pumping out, but as I was once a kid with fantastically shitty taste, I concede there is little I can do about it. That being said, the children of today could be listening to much worse than The Jonas Brothers, whose album A Little Bit Longer is by no means the most offensive pop release I've ever heard.

If you'll think back to the pop music landscape of the mid-90s (shudder), you'll no doubt remember the flood of poorly made, emotionless, hyper-fake boy/girl pop that was churned out by Jive records and the like every three weeks. Spears, Agulera, N*Sync, Backstreet, 5ive, 98 Degrees, Mandy Moore, Willa Ford, Blu Cantrell; this was by no means a golden era for pop music. The tunes of the time were much more about "the look" than anything else, which lead to increasingly shallow and vapid music. Few of these turkeys actually wrote their songs, and the music became background to the image. Outside of Timberlake and Agulera, none of late-century teeny-poppers survived Y2K.

While I can't recommend A Little Bit Longer to anyone over the age of 10, I'll commend the Jonas Brothers for actually writing and performing their own songs. Sure, it's still kiddy-pop that goes down sweet and smooth and almost completely absent of substance, but its well made, inoffensive kiddy-pop that won't cause a more discriminating listener to pull their hair out. It's not good, but any step forward in the field of forgettable top-40 pop music should be recognized and appreciated.

These are dudes who not only write their own songs, but preform them! With instruments and shit! My cousins used to put on dance shows at family reunions, decked out in whatever gear the pop music tramp of the day was rocking, doing their best to mimic the R-rated dance moves of their idols while my aunts and uncles looked on in uncomfortable horror. If there is any justice in the world, The JoBros will inspire kids to pick up an instrument, write a song even. And that's something.

The pre-teens of today could do a hell of a lot worse than The Jonas Brothers. As for my kids, I wouldn't chastise them for listening to A Little Bit Longer, but I'd hope they grow out of it. And I'd make sure they get their weekly dose of The Blue Album.

-Mr Dogg

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