Rob S. (AlphaOmegaNews)
11 tracks @ 41:44
This is a rather amazing record, coming from a 12-year old. If you or your children enjoy Jump5 and Stacie Orrico, you'll like this record.
Nicholas' voice reminds me of an early-era Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 (That's before all of the surgery and other weird stuff. What a sad, sad story. Any way, the Jackson 5 was some of the first music I ever purchased).
“Dear God” is a great song. It takes the form of an open letter to Him to “help me out” and offers hope, “I think I see a rainbow behind the clouds and I hear you now.”
“Time for Me to Fly” features an opening verse that many of us can identify with, “I've been wasting my time, losing my mind, running races, still don't know what I've been chasing.” “Higher Love” is a carbon copy of the Steve Winwood song, but takes on a little different meaning when performed by a Christian artist.
“Joy to the World,” however, is NOT a cover of the Christmas standard but rather an appeal to God that on Christmas everyone will know that someone cares for them. You may have heard this one on Christian radio.
Unless there's some kind of hidden meaning that I'm missing, “Crazy Kind of Crush” is a clinker about a grade-school crush and asking a girl to a dance. It's certainly Radio Disney-ready. Musically, it rips off the Jackson 5 song “ABC.”
I've looked but I cannot find who performs the duet on “Look Me in the Eyes.” I should know who it is as I recognize the voice. Sorry.
I say give this record a chance. At least get it for your kids.
Rick Anderson, Rovi
Ah, this is when things get a bit touchy. Nicholas Jonas is a 12-year-old stage prodigy who, according to the press kit, wrote most of these songs in collaboration with family members and is "already being compared to a young Stevie Wonder." Having made a name for himself in Broadway shows and on TV appearances, he is now apparently being groomed as a Christian lite-soul artist. His eponymous debut is something of a mixed bag, and while the obvious temptation is to cut him some slack because he is, for crying out loud, only 12 years old, this also may be the best time to warn him away from some pitfalls that gape before him. For example, we don't need any more songs titled "Dear God." We just don't. For another thing, his strong, bell-like treble voice is much more effective when counterposed with muscular guitar rock (as it is on "Time for Me to Fly" and his fun cover version of "Higher Love") than when it's swaddled in goopy, balladic bathos (as it is on "Dear God" and "I Will Be the Light"). Also, it's not cool to rip off the Jackson 5 -- at least, not as brazenly as he does on "Crazy Kind of Crush." These are probably not mistakes that Jonas himself is making; they're examples of how important it is to pick your handlers carefully, and he's going to need some solid guidance. But if he gets it, there's no question that his phenomenal talent will take him pretty much wherever he wants to go.