Nick Jonas' 'Last Year Was Complicated' Track List, Ranked From Basic To Catchy
I think we can probably all agree that Nick Jonas' new album Last Year Was Complicated has a pretty understandable title, considering how prolific the actor and musician has been in both his professional life and his love life. Though the former gave him a memorable recurring role in Scream Queens, a North American tour, and a starring role in his first feature film (Careful What You Wish For), the latter delivered him a break-up with Olivia Culpo and countless rumored dalliances with high profile, beautiful women. At some point, too, amidst the whirlwind of his career and personal life, Jonas also managed to presumably find the time to write and record this album and from the sounds of the songs on Last Year Was Complicated , it definitely sounds as though he's not exaggerating on the assertion that it was complicated.
Full of heartbreak, confusion, and longing, the album is also aflame with a rampant sexuality, which diverts from sensual to aggressive and from sad to even desperate. Poor old Nick is so sincere on Last Year Was Complicated that he's giving Drake (who definitely sounds like a major influence throughout the album) a run for his money in the emotional outpourings stakes. Here, for your musical navigation, are the 12 tracks from the album ranked from Beyond Basic to Catchy And Complicated:
12. "The Difference"
For a song in which Jonas is desperately trying to show his girl the difference between his love and someone else's, the song has an incredibly generic way of showing it. It's a little sleepy and a little meh, truth be told, and frankly, we all know that he can do better.
11. "Good Girls (feat. Big Sean)"
Has Jonas been drinking from Drake's "good girl" Kool-Aid lately? Because this song enters some tricky shaming of women territory, which the performer is quick to try and excuse with the phrase "Don't wanna blame you for it/ Cause that's what we ask of you/ But when did all these good girls decide to be bad?" Come on, dude, just let ladies dance on tables, shake some butt and have fun without feeling bad about it, eh?
10. "Don’t Make Me Choose"
That's more like it. A stoic number carried by a subtle background synth and barely there backing vocals, "Don't Make Me Choose" is a gentle, yet forthright, ballad with a bite.
While the music initially teases a safe, mundane melody, the song is forcefully juxtaposed by a soft vocal delivery which quickly turns aggressive with bold lines like: "I'll take a chainsaw to the sofa/ Where I held your body close for so long" splintering the otherwise fluffy music.
As the final song on the album, "Comfortable" is perfectly positioned, delivering a dark, thoughtful and brooding finale to an album punctuated by heartbreak and confusion. That Drake influence we talked about earlier is also clearly heard within the totally Drake-esque phrasing of the verses.
7. "Champagne Problems"
He's gone 99 problems but a drink ain't one in this pretty perfect breakup song which sums up the lingering, all consuming desire of a couple of soon to be exes within the frame of a final drink. In an ingenious move, the music also happens to sound fittingly fizzy, dizzy and dry.
Damn, that's seductive. The minimal "Touch" churns out an upbeat, perky melody which dissolves completely into a punchy, isolated bass line.
5. "Bacon (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)"
Is this really a love song to bacon? Or is it simply an ode to Nick's hangover cure of choice following his drink session on "Champagne Problems"? Whatever it is, "Bacon" has enough quirky, playful sensibilities to make it stand out.
4. "Close (feat. Tove Lo)"
You've probably already swooned yourself senseless to this song, but, within the framework of the album, it sounds even better. Smooth, sultry, and sublime for its vocal harmonies, "Close" builds and builds until it reaches an echo chamber of powerful vocal peaks and emotional resonance.
There's no musical dress-up on this song which is as bare and vulnerable and heartbreaking as pop songs get.
2. "Under You"
Things get rather naughty with "Under You" which features the blush-inducing lyric: "I'll never get over/ Not getting under you". Unf. The startling, breathless and energetic breakdown towards the end of the song really gift wraps the ballad with a sense of desperate urgency.
The album opener, "Voodoo" is strong, fearless, and solid. It's impossible to listen to without moving to, and it sets up the tone for the rest album with perfect precision. Melodically bold and featuring cadences of classic pop (mostly from the Justin Timberlake back catalogue), the song goes big on vocals and big on beats.
Oh, Nick, if things were simple then the album probably wouldn't be even half as good as it is today. So, maybe complicated is good for you? It definitely seems to suit the music.
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