Joe Jonas has been overshadowed by his brother Nick in recent times. Once part of the almighty Jonas Brothers, Joe released his solo album Fastlife in 2011. A supporting slot on Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale tour followed but the album struggled to impact on the charts. In 2015 DNCE was formed after Jonas and his room-mate Jack Lawless decided to work together. They recruited JinJoo Lee and the search for a fourth member led them to Semi Precious Weapons’ Cole Whittle. Last autumn the band scored a huge hit with Cake by the Ocean, the first single from their EP Swaay.
Recently the band released their self-titled debut album and if you like Cake by the Ocean then you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. The order of the day is carefree, hands in the air pop that you can sing and dance along to. The album kicks off with DNCE, the song which ultimately inspired the band’s name, and you’re transported back to an 80s funk party. The song showcases what DNCE does so well taking pointers from Prince and crafting a modern spin on his funky sound.
Over the album’s 14 tracks, DNCE rarely take their foot off the gas with beats pumping, funky guitars slicing through melodies and Jonas’ vocal scales the heights to a seriously impressive falsetto. It’s true to say that Cake by the Ocean is one of the standout moments here but the rest of the tracks stand on their own two feet. Doctor You is a slice of laidback soul/funk that fuses pop melodies for a storming 4 minutes of pure joy, Good Day puts a foot into a more indie sound, Naked is a saucy falsetto filled dreamy gem, and Zoom is driven by a twangy bass riff.
DNCE surprise on the ballad Almost, one of the moments that the tempo shifts gears and gives you a breather from the dancefloor. It’s a perfect showcase for Jonas’ vocals and has impressive depth and range. Another laidback jam is the soulful Truthfully, which is as near to acoustic as the band gets.
My favourite track on the record is the shimmering disco of Pay My Rent. Jonas has a gruffer edge to his voice and the music is so damn infectious that you can’t help but dance your socks off. If Prince were alive today, he would likely be proud of his influence!
DNCE deliver a real pop treat of a record with their debut album. It’s cool pop that will be loved by teenagers and adults alike. The group has an edge that separates them out from everyone else and they have tons of personality, which shines through every track. The only criticism is that the album could have been a couple of tracks shorter but to be honest you’ll likely be dancing away and too lost in the music to notice.
Track Listing: 1. DNCE 2. Body Moves 3. Cake By The Ocean 4. Doctor You 5. Toothbrush 6. Blown (feat Kent Jones) 7. Good day 8. Almost 9. Naked 10. Truthfully 11. Be Mean 12. Zoom 13. Pay My Rent 14. Unsweet Record Company: Polydor Release Date: 18th November 2016