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Album review: Jonas Brothers' 'Lines, Vines and Trying Times'

Jobros240__ Plenty of young pop stars have grown darker on records after a fast career ascent. Though "Lines, Vines and Trying Times" has a touch of late-teen angst about it lyrically, the Jonas Brothers' third album of sprightly and eclectic pop is unexpectedly their most easygoing and enjoyable yet. 

The refreshing thing about "Lines" is the sense that the brothers have zero hang-ups about finding authenticity through traditional rock gestures. The Jonas' have the advantage of a young fan base for whom Neil Diamond was never hokey and for whom soul has no political ramifications. So it feels natural when the trio skips from falsetto-stretching funk on "World War III" to rhinestone-cowboy country on "What Did I Do to Your Heart." It's a clean synopsis of the "I listen to everything" philosophy of today's youth, and it's in service of some worthy songwriting. 

Although the tunes are accomplished, "Lines" has a patina of smarm that's less smart than the music. Every lyric is populated with some strain of stock crazy chick character who's always starting fights out of nowhere ("World War III"), refusing to get over a breakup ("Paranoid"), giving the brothers unexplainable rashes ("Poison Ivy") or being Joe Jonas' ex Taylor Swift ("Much Better").

The Jonas Brothers have discovered many intriguing angles for realizing their songcraft talents, but they don't yet have perspective on a world outside the Jonas orbit. But that's nothing a few years and a serious, mane-tearing heartbreak won't fix one day. 

-- August Brown

Jonas Brothers
"Lines, Vines and Trying Times"
(Hollywood Records)
Two and a half stars

Comments () | Archives (10)

I believe it is going to be great no matter what. These boys are absolutely amazing people, and song writers. I really wish that more of a wider-spread crowd would come and listen. They are very talented in their writings. I also believe that the huge crowd of people that always are saying "I'm so sick of the Jonas Brothers and Disney stuff" would take a clue and think about how, in some cases, their children, or even just regular people could be listening to so much junk with inappropriate material could be more popular. I am sad to say, that even the majority of teen music is exactly that. There is a huge crowd of people that listen to the great music of people just like the Jonas Brothers, I do think that that should affect more than it has. I am praying for their blessings and wish the best for them in the future, I also add prayer that they will carry on the great examples, and live their lives how they are being lived as of now. I believe that they can and will. I have faith in them as I have faith that this album is going to be amazing.
God Bless

I do believe the Jonas brothers are great examples and great boys but PLEASE DON'T COME AT PEOPLE LIKE US who rather listen to musicians who provoke a certain feeling to us and who's lyrics touch us in a different way. I don't think the Jonas Brothers are going to get a wider audience but maybe later in their careers. I can see why people don't like their music but people shouldn't hate them personally because we don't know them.

I personally feel that Jonas brothers are a great role model for teens to understand that what really life's about and i love the way they give their family the first priority as family love is very important in the our world of sibling rivalry. I appreciate their commitments and hope they become THE BEST in the future and i know they will. I love their music and lyrics. SO JUST KEEP ROCKING AND BURNIN' UP THE STAGE !!!

No, seriously... To even try to analyze with depth something as useless as Jonas Brothers give this often interesting blog a bad name.
I know it's business and you have to: Disney pays for it and you've tried to stay in the middle but all that involves them is aimed at unaware army of teens with no taste, and ready to buy all they are supposed to be fed with, with no second thoughts.
Jonas Brothers fake and premade music is obnoxious, it lacks any possible realism, vitality, charge, inspiration and it's just an output of hours of sessions driven by focus groups. Thee's never a gram of art in it.
It won't ever be.
They are machines meant to sell to kids (and their families, who approve) in a fake Disney tale of success.
I have listened to some of this album cos sadly I have young cousins who are forced to stand these three by their little female "friends". My cousins's ears bleed, cos they do know about real music. My ears don't, cos I am too grown up to take notice of inutility such as them. But my heart does hurt, seeing the promotional machine supporting these terrible trio and realizing they might continue for a while more to poison the scene, hurting real musicians young bands chancesto be known, fagocitated by Disney/Abc/satellites forces ready to spread what I consider almopst a musical disease.
Anyway... At my ages we had New Kids On The Block, Later Backstreet Boys... Fake pop (I like real pop, made by real musicians) never dies I guess, cos it's what sells the most to the more uneducated public.
Reality check, will maybe one day change this state of things? Hard to foresee that.

Honestly I think this new CD is pretty good, I listened yesterday on the Radio and I liked every single song, its pretty good let me say it, what Im trying to say is that this is not of the taste of older people, you know? I mean, a Grandparent is not going to hear "World War III" and will start to dance, no of course not, but be sure that their grandchildren will be dancing, listening and singing for a long time, this is music for young people and maybe a few older one, Im 17 years old and I really like this music, I dont get why people hate to the Jonas Brothers if they are good role models for the children and specially dont get in troubles like so many other artists, who knows and maybe in the near future we will be listening even more great music of this awesome band of New Jersey!
Please stop saying this is going to be a bad thing because you know it wont be a bad album but instead is going to be a great one.
I live in Guatemala and I already pre-ordered the CD, I want to have it because they deserve it, they started a long time ago and they sing about real stuff, they are not going around with lyrics that are senseless, they are good and so far I think this is going to be the music I will be hearing as I got older. Thank you for your time.

I think people have the right to listen to whatever type of music they like. Whether it’s the Jonas Brothers, Paramore, The Beatles, Justin Timberlake, or whatever else there may be out there. If you don’t like a band you don’t have to listen to it, but don’t go around saying that it’s not ‘inspirational’, because you haven’t taken the time to listen to the lyrics, listen to their voices as they sing that song, or anything else just because it’s not what you want it to hear. Because some people out there know that a song can be what helps them, give them inspiration to do the right thing or change. I know a lot of girls who wouldn’t be where they are right now if it wasn’t for the Jonas Brothers and their songs. Their still young, they’ll grow as they get older, maybe their songs will become what you want. But right now it’s about what THEIR feeling, and what THEY want to write about since their songs are based on THEIR life.

I’ve been a fan since…. 2005-2006 and I’ve always been loyal to them as a fan. So I was ecstatic when I got news of the 4th album. I looked up a couple songs on YouTube, and I saw the change in their writing, and how some are country, other are more slow and bluely feel to it, but after listening to a song a couple of times I came to love it. I think their songs now have much more meaningful lyrics, and fans can tell that their trying to broaden their horizon when it comes being artist. Their still young and experimenting with what type of music they would like to create after they break out of their Disney shell, which in this album they cracked it.

I love the album, and I give them a round of applause. They worked hard; they’ve been through a lot in order to get inspiration to write songs for this alum. I personally love some songs, and some songs I’m still iffy about. But the album will be one of the best they’ve done yet.

I just bought Lines, Vines, and Trying Times and this is one of the best albums i have every heard. The combination with a horn section and strings with guitar is absolutely amazing! the lyrics are so meaningful!
This album deserves to be number 1!

Okay, i have listened to albulm non-stop about twenty times already, I have been anticipating this albulm release since I finished memorizing their third CD. Yes, I am a big Jonas fan and I have to say that this reviewer hits a point. Though the Jonas Brothers are amazingly talented in every song they write, they have yet to discover what is outside the Jonas world. They are stuck with wanting to grow more with their teen fans but have more and more younger fans begging for simple catch pop toons that they can sing and dance along to. And staying this their Jonas world and trying to grow makes them seem like they're in a bit of a tizzy. This CD, overall, had its ups and downs. The lyrics to all of the songs were catchy and fun to memorize and dance along to, but the fact that they all revolved around the same thing; trying to grow up too much but still too obsessed with girls to know what else to say. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing them show emotion and pour their hearts out, it's relatable to everyone to got through a heartbreak or crush. But other songs, such as "Don't Charge me for the Crime" and "What did I do to your Heart" have definitely taken a step towards jumping out of Disney and into reality. They have started to fathom the musical freedom they are able to have via these two songs, but its mainly Disney that is holding them back. If they step off of Disney, they'll lose A LOT. But their musical talent and ability to write about almost anything to drag everyone in will hopefully help them in the future once they're off and married and still desperate for tours and fans. It will be interesting to see where they for from here. I loved this CD because it not only showed the small pictures of them trying to satisfy all fans and themselves, but how they're starting to grow their music to new levels. Bravo, Jonas Brothers. You have done well once again. My favorite song so far is Don't Speak, the lyrics are amazing. And the slow songs, all written by Nick Jonas, sweep all teen fans off their feet just by the first beat. From pop to rock to country to rap, these boys are talented and love what they're doing. And I can't help but love and respect them for it. I give Lines, Vines, and Trying Times a solid B.

being a fan of the jonas brothers, i can unfortunately say that this album sucks. bigtime, aside from a very few songs

so i just listened to the cd. The cd is good. I sort of thought that a little bit longer was a better album but this cd brings out diferent styles of music. you have the big band sound in some of them almost like swing music in the background. You also have your nice ballads. and the pop sounding and country sounding songs. It shows that they can have some diversity in their music. I like that they teamed up with Common. yeah a lot of people my age (19) don't really like their music, but honestly look how they grew up this is their experience's they have had in their life. a lot is different then regular people. people should ease up on them. be happy they are successful I want to see some of you do it. It's hard to get into the industry. I should know. So some people don't like them and some people do. that's fine. Just have respect. :)


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