Music review: Nick Jonas’ ‘Close’ is a ‘true representation of every relationship’

 

JENNIFER DRURY

STAFF WRITER

It is pretty clear at this point that Nick is everyone’s favorite Jonas Brother, at least when it comes to being a solo music artist.

About a month ago, Nick Jonas announced that he would be blessing us all with a new album, “Last Year Was Complicated,” on June 10. 

The announcement was made in mid-March, which is virtually a million years away from June. Jonas, being the wonderful man he is, did not keep us waiting that long to start hearing some of his new songs.

“Close,” which features fellow pop artist Tove Lo, was released on March 25, becoming the first single off Jonas’ new solo album.

The song starts off with a tropical vibe that uses what sounds like steel drums. Jonas’ angelic voice comes in quickly after the introduction. The pitch of each line follows a similar pattern. The last few words of the line create a spiraling effect that lead towards the highest note of the line. Jonas’ voice sounds both crisp and vibrant. This method makes each word hit the listener with purpose. More instrumental joins the tropical vibe a few lines into the first verse.

The verse then jumps into the pre-chorus. The beginning of the pre-chorus starts off almost as a whisper. As Jonas sings the last line, he climbs higher and higher in pitch in the same spiral-style as in the verses. This spiral effect is longer and more drawn out. It draws the listeners in.

Suddenly, the chorus explodes into the song. Though the words of the chorus are simple, Jonas’ vocals and the instrumental make the song very intoxicating and addicting.

Tove Lo then joins Jonas for the rest of the song. Her voice is just as angelic as Jonas’ is.

Lo sings the second verse and pre-chorus alone, with Jonas adding some vocals in the background.  The pair sound like two people in a relationship who are going through the same emotions, but are afraid to admit it to each other.

Jonas explained the song on his Twitter on March 24. “The first song you’re gonna hear tomorrow night is about how I literally can’t open up and be vulnerable with someone,” the Tweet read.

This feeling is absolutely clear in the lyrics. The first verse begins with what sounds like an inner struggle. “Oh damn, oh damn, oh damn, I’m so perplexed with just one breath, I’m locked in,” Jonas sings. He seems almost afraid that he is feeling these emotions.

In the next few lines, it sounds like he is talking to Lo. Jonas sings, “I know, I know you know you’re scared… They won’t, they won’t, they won’t be careful, but I guess that you don’t know me.” He knows that Lo is afraid to become vulnerable and open up to him, as well, because of her past experiences with other guys, whom he simply refers to as “they.”

In the pre-chorus, he makes the promise that he won’t lead her on like the other guys: “Cause if I want you, and I want you, babe.  Ain’t going backwards, won’t ask for space. Cause space is just a word made up by someone who’s afraid to get too…”

He is trying to assure her that he won’t be like the others. Even though being vulnerable scares him, he is ready to get close. He wants to be vulnerable for her.

The chorus is made up of mostly repeated lyrics, but the last line of the chorus is “I want you close, and close ain’t close enough, no.” It is clear that the singers are ready. They want to be all-in for this relationship.

In the second verse, Lo responds to the verse Jonas sang. She admits that she has never been speechless for a guy before and that he is saying all the things she wants to say, but is unable to because her guard is still up.

“I am like you, so I want proof I’m what you’re feeling,” Lo sings, admitting that she too is still afraid of opening up and being vulnerable.

Lo sings the same words as Jonas did for the pre-chorus, but the lyrics take on her perspective. This time she’s telling him what she wants him to do, while Jonas was telling her what he is willing to do.

Jonas and Lo melodize and collaborate for the last few sections of the song. Their harmonies are absolutely gorgeous. The pair sound amazing together. This is especially true during the last pre-chorus, which has now turned into a bridge, during the spiral effect of the line “Cause space is just a word made up by someone who’s afraid to get too…” The vocals are climbing higher and higher together, just as a couple would climb higher and higher to get to the point of finally being able to open up and be vulnerable to each other. Lo and Jonas have finally reached the level they had been afraid to climb to for the longest time.

Once they have reached this point, it seems like the vocals begin craving each other. When one sings, the other has to respond. They need each other to finish the song.

This song is a true representation of every relationship. When it begins you are afraid to trust a new person because of your past. You tell the person what you want. Finally, you find out he wants the same as you. He’s earned your trust and you feel comfortable enough to open up to him and become vulnerable. Once that happens, your relationship strengthens. You’ve eliminated the space between and you need to keep getting closer to this person. “I want you close, and close ain’t close enough, no,” Jonas and Lo sing right before the instrumental finishes. You need the other person now.

From the vocals to the lyrics to the instrumental, “Close” is a very beautiful song. Jonas and Lo’s vocals fit perfectly together to tell a story that everyone has lived through and can relate to.

Though the devoted Nick Jonas fans can play “Close” on repeat as much as we want, we must wait until June 10 to hear the rest of “Last Year Was Complicated.”

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