The Jonas Brothers dropped their first album in a decade on Friday, thrilling die-hard fans and new listeners alike with Happiness Begins, 14 tracks of poppy earworms, soulful ballads, instant summer classics and more.
It was clear from the release of the album’s first single, “Sucker,” in March that these are not the JoBros of old. Long removed from their Disney Channel days, the brothers tap into nostalgia and aged-up emotion on their new album, penning tunes about grown-up love and their past as teen pop idols.
A big part of the group’s evolution since their last release is that all three of the Jones Brothers are now married men. Kevin Jonas married Danielle Deleasa in December 2009, and the couple are parents to two daughters: Alena, 5, and Valentina, 2. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra tied the knot in both a Christian ceremony and a traditional Indian wedding in December 2018. And Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner said “I do” in a surprise Las Vegas ceremony after the Billboard Music Awards last month — and are planning a second ceremony in France this summer.
Finding love and embracing married life has certainly had a positive effect on the brothers, which they gave fans a closer look at in their recently released Amazon documentary, “Chasing Happiness”. And that joy comes through on Happiness Begins as well, which features songs written by all three Jonas Brothers. Here’s a closer look at some of the sweetest lyrics about the happiness they’ve found.
“I thank the oceans for giving me you / You saved me once and now I’ll save you too”
I mean, come on. “Hesitate” might be the most heartfelt song on Happiness Begins, and it makes it all the sweeter to know that Joe penned the track with his new wife in mind.
“This is an important song to write,” Joe told Apple Music’s Beats 1 on Friday, as the brothers went track-by-track to explore the album’s creation and influences. “This is a song I wrote for my significant other, Sophie, and this is kind of, I think, one of those love letters you write to your partner saying, ‘I’ll be there no matter what.'”
2. “I Believe”
“Every night every day; how about every lifetime? / Yeah I know what they say, and that’s fine / ‘Cause I’m here to stay through the good and the bad times / Baby save me a space in your mind”
“This song is a love letter to my wife,” Nick said of the mid-tempo, swoon-worthy track, which even references criticisms that he and Priyanka “moved too fast” in their relationship. “I’m so excited to play it on tour.”
Even sweeter? The brothers revealed “I Believe” was on heavy rotation when they celebrated Nick’s bachelor party last year. “It sounds even better by the beach,” Joe noted.
3. “Love Her”
“Gotta learn to let the small things go / And know it’s always far from perfect / And I know that we can get emotional / But the hardest parts are always worth it”
This minimalist, guitar-driven groove is about the up-and-down reality of relationships, from a more mature point of view. And clearly, the brothers have already learned some of the most important lessons about marriage, dropping the line, “No matter the fight, you know she’s always right.”
“It’s very important on an album for us to have some romantic songs,” Kevin explained. “We’ve had a lot of kind of vibey upbeat songs that you just listen to and by the eighth song, at this point in the dinner, you’re just kind of finishing that bottle of wine.”
“Come back to me, baby, I’ll come back to you / Light up the world like only you can do / If you’re lost on the way then I’ll get lost too / Come back to me, baby, I’ll come back to you”
All three of the brothers contributed to the songwriting on this track, which Joe explained touches on their roots growing up in the church with a hymn-like structure backed by piano chords.
“This is one that I’m most proud of,” Joe said of the track. “We use pronouns in this that are sort of more towards the relationship, but I think it fully represents kind of where we were at, saying, ‘Come back to me. I’ll come back to you. We’ve been through a lot in the journey that we’re on, but it led us back here.'”
“I’m a sucker for you / You say the word and I’ll go anywhere blindly”
Despite being more than three months old at this point, “Sucker” has not even come close to burning off its earworm appeal. The lyrics, while a little raunchier than anything we’ve heard from the JoBros in the past, are still sentimental in a way, a rocking ode to finding that person who makes you want to dance on top of cars and stumble out of bars. Plus, the glam trio of J-Sisters totally steal the video.
“It was fun when we were young and now we’re older / Those days when we were broke in California / We were up-and-down and barely made it over / But I’d go back and ride that roller coaster”
OK, so it’s not about their wives, but this track is a nostalgic trip for the brothers, and a welcome bit of “happiness” after watching them bare all about their struggles with success in the “Chasing Happiness” documentary.
“I think it perfectly embodies kind of all the themes that are relevant in the doc about having had that fun when you were young. But as you get older, you need to make that choice to want to do this again and to put in the work to make sure it’s a healthy version of it,” Kevin explained. “And in the end saying, I would gladly get on that roller coaster with you again and do it all over again.”