In 2008, I was 14 years old and deeply in love with Joe Jonas and the music of the Jonas Brothers. In honor of the JoBros resurgence, I wanted to blow my own mind and ask my past self to review the new Jonas Brothers album, Happiness Begins.
2019 Erin: Hi, Erin! Don’t freak out, but you’re in the future. I’m you, from 2019.
2008 Erin: What? How? Like Back to the Future? Aren’t we ripping the fabric of the space-time continuum by even conversing right now?
19E: You’re right to question this, but I’m not going to get into the mechanics at this point. I do have a mission for you, though.
08E: Ooh, cool! What’s that?
19E: You’re going to review the new Jonas Brothers album.
08E: (laughs) What is it, like their 20th album by now?
19E: Well… brace yourself. Because in about 2013, the JoBros will break up.
08E: WHAT?? Wait, what else can you tell me about the future? Who’s President in 2019?
19E: (sighs, takes a drag of a cigarette) I’m not going to tell you who the president is. Why don’t you tell me how your summer is going?
08E: It’s good! I just started my first job, I just had my first kiss, and I saw this amazing movie, Iron Man! Do you still like Iron Man in 2019?
19E: (wipes tears from eyes, flashing back to Avengers: Endgame) Yeah, yeah, I do. Okay, let’s get into the album.
Track 1 is “Sucker.” (plays track)
08E: This… is soooo different! The Jonas Brothers… don’t drink! And they’re talking about stumbling out of bars? Ahh, this is so weird! But I think I like it. The clapping is really good. Can I see the music video?
19E: Not until you’ve seen The Favourite.
Track 2 is “Cool.” (plays track while nodding along to the beat)
08E: So first question about the lyrics—what’s Game of Thrones?
19E: (winces) You’ll find out. How do you feel about this song? I actually like this track a lot.
08E: This is a good song to listen to in the car! It’s weird there isn’t a ton of guitar, they don’t sound as rock or punk as they are in my time.
08E: Also what is Post Malone?
19E: I really don’t have enough time to explain. Next song! Track 3 is “Only Human.” (plays it)
08E: I’m not so sure about this one.
19E: Agreed. It’s not the best.
08E: It kind of sounds like Katy Perry? Is all music like this in 2019?
19E: A lot of the sound is similar to this, yeah. But there’s still some good stuff! Beyoncé is still running the world! Oh, shoot—that song’s not out yet.
How about this one. Track 4, “I Believe.”
08E: This feels like a song I would hear at the pool. And it’s going to get stuck in my head, for sure.
19E: Ah, the pool. I miss it, believe it or not!
08E: Definitely a summer vibe.
19E: Okay, here’s Track 5, “Used to Be.” So what are you thinking about when you listen to this song?
08E: Well, I don’t know if you remember, but I had a really big crush on this one guy in 7th and 8th grade. But now I like someone else, so this is just like, I’m thinking about how I used to feel!
19E: Yep, I remember. And let me just say: I know he said no, but I’m proud of you for asking a boy out. Very cool.
08E: Do you have a boyfriend now?
19E: Yes. His name is Adam Driver. Okay, how about this one. Track 6 is called “Every Single Time.” (plays it)
08E: Not super feeling this one.
19E: Yeah, this one doesn’t do it for me, either. Next! (cues up music)
Track 7 is “Don’t Throw It Away.”
08E: This one sounds the most like the Jonas Brothers right now. Like, I could see this one on their first or second album. I wonder what their third album is going to be like, it’s coming out so soon!
19E: It’s… really good. No spoilers. Okay moving on to Track 8, “Love Her.” (plays song)
08E: I really like this one! It’s a little slower, a little softer. I haven’t heard this side of the Bros before!
19E: Yeah, this one is definitely a little “Lovebug”-esque. SHIT! You’ve never heard “Lovebug.”
08E/19E: (at the same time) “But your kids are gonna love it.”
19E: Yeah, just so you know, those Back to the Future quotes still haven’t left your brain.
Okay, Track 9, “Happy When I’m Sad.”
08E: Wow, this one really gets me.
19E: What do you mean?
08E: It’s just like, do you ever feel like you’re sad but it’s okay that you’re sad?
19E: Oh right, I forgot about hormones.
08E: Or that you should be happy about something, but you feel sad? Everyone says I’m so bubbly and outgoing but sometimes, it doesn’t feel that way. The Jonas Brothers still know what I’m going through! So emotional. (puts hand on heart)
19E: Jesus Christ, you’re 14.
Okay, let’s listen to Track 10, “Trust.” What do you think about this one?
08E: Doesn’t it feel like we should be talking about more important things than the Jonas Brothers album? Shouldn’t I be trying to stop something bad from happening?
19E: Again, I understand this impulse. And I don’t want to say I’m from the “darkest timeline,” but this is helping me cope with all of that. So thank you.
08E: I guess you… *trust* me… to help you.
(19E and 08E high five. 19E puts on the next song)
19E: How about Track 11, “Strangers”?
08E: So there is a lot more falsetto than normal on this album.
19E: Yeah, they’re really going for it here. Check out Track 12, “Hesitate.”
08E: So, who are the Jonas Brothers dating now? Are you married to Joe now? Is this a test to make sure the album will do well?
19E: (pauses) They’re all married. I am sadly not married to Joe… yet.
08E: Okay, so who is this song about?
19E: Sophie Turner, Joe’s wife.
08E: Who is Sophie Turner?
19E: Well, she’s from Game of Thrones. I guess the books are out now, so you could check those out if you’re curious.
08E: I’ll think about it. Who is Nick married to?
19E: An actress named Priyanka Chopra. It won’t last.
08E: And Kevin?
19E: Just a normie, her name is Danielle. They’re actually pretty cute.
08E: What is a “normie”?
19E: A normal person. I can’t believe this is the first piece of 2019 speak that I’ve said so far.
08E: Well, I think this song is sweet! I would love for Joe to sing it to me.
19E: Okay, here’s Track 13, “Rollercoaster.”
08E: This is my favorite track so far.
19E: Oh, I know.
08E: Like, this is what me and our friends are going to scream sing in the basement at sleepovers.
19E: That is exactly what this song is.
08E: It’s a little bit like “That’s Just the Way We Roll” but older? They seem so much more mature, but still themselves on this album. It’s nice!
19E: Okay, next up is Track 14, “Comeback.”
08E: This just feels like their victory lap.
19E: Do you like it?
08E: It seems like they would close a concert with this one, especially with how moody Nick sounds. I’d throw it on a playlist with some Hannah Montana and Disney soundtracks.
19E: Never change, kid.