Jonas Brothers' 'The Album' explores fatherhood and family

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The cover of "The Album" by The Jonas Brothers. (Courtesy of Missing Piece Group)
The cover of "The Album" by The Jonas Brothers. (Courtesy of Missing Piece Group)

Think of the Jonas Brothers, and you’ll probably get “Burnin' Up” stuck in your head or feel transported back to the era of “Camp Rock.”

Though their days on the Disney Channel are long over, the JoBros fanbase remains large and loyal. Their new album, called “The Album,” released in May to critical acclaim. This is their first album release in four years, and the trio says they drew inspiration from music their father played for them as kids, mostly songs from the 1970s and ‘80s.

From the three-part harmonies to the uptempo, romantic nature of the songs, Nick Jonas credits the Bee Gees as a major inspiration for “The Album.”

When the brothers were teenagers, expertly hitting high notes defined their sound. But since then, they’ve grown up. Still, Nick and Joe Jonas maintain that signature falsetto sound.

“We practice a lot. We play a lot … It's like any muscle. You have to keep working it and know when to relax and know when to take care of it. We had one of the best teachers in the world, which was our father,” Joe says. “We've had plenty of times where things weren't working the way they were supposed to vocally, and you had to lean on one another.”

But their tenure as a band hasn’t always been as smooth as it sounds. In 2013, the group split up, citing a “deep rift” and “creative differences.” In their time apart, Nick went solo releasing music like the single “Jealous” under just his name, Joe formed the band DNCE — known for the hit song “Cake By The Ocean” — and Kevin Jonas took the time to focus on family.

“Family is incredible and the source of a lot of happiness and comfort,” Nick says, “but also at times can be a challenge.”

When the group reunited in 2019, the brothers saw the benefit of working with producers and musicians outside of the family to get a different perspective. They worked with Ryan Tedder on 2019 release “Happiness Begins” and the breakout single “Sucker,” which landed them their first No. 1 hit. Singer-songwriter Jon Bellion worked with the trio on “The Album.”

“It was definitely important for us to have an outside voice in the midst of it, but it's really a collaborative effort all the time, all the way around,” Kevin says. “We work together with them to make this album true to who we are, along with pushing us in every direction.”

An overwhelming theme of the album is familial bonds. The song “Waffle House” speaks directly to that, praising their parents and acknowledging the joys and challenges of working with people you’re related to.

“‘Waffle House’ is really not a song about Waffle House, the restaurant,” Nick says. “It's more about this idea of gathering in a place that you feel safe to have good conversations, tough conversations and everything in between.”

As teen sensations, they relied a lot on each other and their parents. But over their decade-plus careers, their definition of family has changed. All three of their spouses — Nick’s wife Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Joe’s wife Sophie Turner and Kevin’s wife Danielle Jonas — star in the music video for “Sucker.” And all three brothers are dads to toddlers, which has heavily influenced their creative processes and where they find inspiration.

“It's the reason I get up in the morning and continue to do this,” Kevin says, “to make them proud every single day.”

The Jonas Brothers are about to set out on tour in August, hitting venues including Yankee Stadium and TD Garden. And, they’ve promised music from five of their albums, so some nostalgic jams are in store for attendees along with their new releases.

Emiko Tamagawa produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Robin Young. Grace Griffin adapted it for the web.

This segment aired on June 20, 2023.

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Robin Young Co-Host, Here & Now
Robin Young brings more than 25 years of broadcast experience to her role as host of Here & Now.


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Emiko Tamagawa Senior Producer, Here & Now
Emiko Tamagawa produces arts and culture segments for Here & Now.


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Grace Griffin Digital Producer, Here & Now
Grace Griffin is a digital producer for Here & Now.



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