By Kevin Kallmyer
I fought tooth and nail, kicking and pushing the herds of pre-teens out of my way. They had fire in their eyes but I didn’t care; I had to meet him. Nick Jonas.
In my dreams.
Luckily, I don’t need to dream anymore. Nick Jonas’ debut album, “Who I Am,” lets me into his piercing soul. The soul of an artist who towers over the flimsy idols of a prior generation. Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen…they are a mere LaToya Jackson talent to the Michael-like insights of Nick Jonas.
The album’s first single is “Who I Am.” The song describes a young artist, struggling to find where he is in the world, and, more importantly, struggling to find someone to share it with. Jonas sings, “I want someone to love me/For who I am/I want someone to need me/Is that so bad?” The listener is compelled to be that person. Jonas is showing us that it is okay to be in love with the Jonas Brothers. It is okay to spend all your money on Jonas Brother’s merchandise, or travel multiple days to see them, or join a cult dedicated to them. But not only is it okay, it is encouraged. He needs you. It is hard to think otherwise, because this song is just…that…good.
The album continues with “Conspiracy Theory,” a rock and roll track that livens up the record. In a surprising display of originality, Nick breaks new ground by combining Nashville blues and Disney Channel pop. He even lets out a shout here and there, showing the listener that (at least) he is really having fun!
The album continues with “provocative” and “fun” songs that really make the listener think. From “Tonight,” to “State of Emergency,” each song sounds relatively distinct, a marvelous evolution in the Jonas Brother’s career.
In December, Nick’s dreamy brother, Kevin got married at the tender age of 22. Following the marriage, he proclaimed to his promise-ring wearing fans that, “after we did it, I was kind of like, that’s it?” You will not ask that yourself that question after listening to his brother’s debut album “Who I am.”