What You Need To Know - June 9, 2016

Nick Jonas' Last Year Was Complicated: What You Need To Know
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Nick Jonas' Last Year Was Complicated: What You Need To Know

As the frontman and youngest member of the Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas released four albums with his siblings Joe and Kevin, starred in numerous Disney films like Camp Rock and was the focal point of a two-year reality series following the band's exploits, but in 2013 he decided to launch a solo career, releasing his self-titled solo album a year later.

Two years on, Nick is back with his next album, Last Year Was Complicated, which arrives in stores today (Friday June 10). Here's everything you need to know...

A little background...

Jonas has been busy since the release of his last album in 2014, opening for Maroon 5 on their global tour and launching a new record label, Safehouse Records, along with Demi Lovato. Jonas started performing new material from the upcoming album as far back as August 2015 and while the album was originally going to be titled Unhinged – also the name of the album's penultimate track – at some point things changed course and, reportedly after a conversation with rapper Jay-Z, he settled on Last Year Was Complicated, explaining via his Twitter account: “When I first started making I thought I knew what it would be about… Then I had a breakup. It then became very clear what this thing would be about… And that I would need to dig really deep… Sh*t is too real sometimes… Reliving some of these real life experiences through this music is hard.”


Who's producing it?

The majority is shared between Jason Evigan and Sir Nolan, who contribute production to nine of the album's twelve tracks. The odd ones out are 'Close' and 'Touch', both produced by Swedish duo Mattman & Robin, while 'Under You' is produced by Payami, Shellback and Max Martin.


Any special guests?

Just a handful. Tove Lo contributes vocals on 'Close', Big Sean does the same on 'Good Girls' and Ty Dolla $ign completes the guest roster with an appearance on 'Bacon'.


What does it sound like?

There are plenty of big, slick pop bangers like 'Bacon' and the floor-filling 'Champagne Problems', while that breakup Jonas mentioned on his Twitter feed is most evident on the brooding 'Chainsaw': “Maybe I'll just take a chainsaw to the sofa / Where I held your body close for so long, so long / I'm gonna break the f*cking china / Cause it's just one more reminder you're gone.”

Overall though there is a slightly darker feel to the album's production. It's still full of radio-friendly tunes, for sure, but there's a more subdued atmosphere to some of the album's tracks, particularly on the Mattman & Robin produced 'Close'.


Does it deliver?

If you're a fan of what Nick Jonas has been up to since the split with his brothers and bandmates, this won't disappoint. The heartbreak from that relationship break-up permeates the album without dragging it down into self-indulgence, but there are plenty of uptempo numbers too and the Mattman & Robin tunes in particular offer a little more experimentation than the tracks on his last full-length offering. Will fans take to in the same way as they did with Nick Jonas? We'll soon find out...

Last Year Was Complicated
Last Year Was Complicated Nick Jonas

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