The release of the bands A Little Bit Longer on Tuesday is expected to be one of the biggest albums of the year. It follows two months after the top-10 debuting soundtrack to Camp Rock, in which the Disney pop trio sang the showcase song.
The acts latest single, Burnin Up, is already a top-20 hit, and recently sold more 100,000 digital downloads in one week. These numbers arent kid’s stuff. And the Jonas Brothers arent exactly Mmm-bopping around when it comes to their songs, either.
Sporting dapper, grown-up suits, the Jonas Brothers sometimes come off as if theyre playing a part. Just check Burnin Up, with lead Jonas, Joe, straining his vocals in an effort to force some rock n roll grit to grow out of his adolescent pipes. Or the video, in which the band dons the role of Bond-like spies and runs around in an adult fantasy land.
And we havent even mentioned the lyrics, in which the boys are ogling a woman in a red dress and high heels. Its not exactly risque, but its a bit removed from Miley Cyrus Breakout, in which the singer is still grappling with teen issues, like, say, getting up at 8 a.m. for school (its crazy, she tells us).
Indeed, the Jonas Brothers seem eager to grow up. But in rock n roll, its usually the other way around, with artists forever struggling to hang onto their youth. We take a look at some albums in which artists may not exactly have acted their age. (Dick Clark Productions)
Album: Self-titled, June 2008
Age-range at the time of release: Late 30s/Early 40s
Age captured by the album: 18
Evidence: Lead singer Rivers Cuomo is screaming Everybody Get Dangerous on the acts latest album, but it’s not a mid-life crisis that’s bringing him down. He’s simply reminiscing about living in his parents house and watching his friends toilet-paper houses. And Troublemaker goes even further, with Rivers championing chocolate ice cream and dissing his high school text books. And tossing in a Rogaine reference in lead single Pork and Beans cant disguise that the band is clearly stuck in high school. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Album: The Best Damn Thing, 2007
Age at the time of release: 22
Age range captured by the album: 14-15
Evidence: When she was singing Sk8er Boi in 2002, Lavigne was squarely capturing her teenage audience. She tried to get a little deeper in 2004 with Under My Skin, an album that downed-down the fun, and instead captured the burden of ones late-teenage years. One, therefore, may have expected the recently married Lavigne to keep maturing for last years The Best Damn Thing. Instead, she regressed. The album was marked by cheerleading anthems such as the title track and Girlfriend, catty, locker-room numbers about boys. (EPA)
Album: “15,” 2006
Age at the time of release: Singer Joshua Todd, mid-30s
Age range captured by the album: A 15 year-old boy, in 1989.
Evidence: When Motley Crue released Saints of Los Angeles earlier this year, at least it had a reference or two to divorce lawyers. No such sign of, ummm, maturity in Buckcherrys 15. Its tales of drinking and debauchery play out like post-puberty fantasies, where credit-card-less characters ride the subway around New York looking for tail (Brooklyn), and the songs sound as comfortable in pool-halls today as they did 20 years ago. (Eleven Seven Music)
Album: Discipline,” 2008
Age at the time of release: Early 40s
Age captured by the album: Mid-20s porn star
Evidence: One neednt expect Janet to give up sexually explicit lyrics just because shes getting older. But theres a line between being sexy and silly, and asking daddy to come punish me crosses that line -- nevermind the heavy panting that serves as the songs rhythm. Indeed, Discipline seems to have a directive to out-sex any other diva to ever live, and one would think four decades of life would inspire something beyond asking to be strummed like a guitar. (Bryan Bedder / Getty Images)
Album: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, 2001
Age at the time of release: Mid-to-late 20s
Age captured by the album: 13
Evidence: Two years before the release of Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, Blink-182 declared that they wanted to act their age on Whats My Age Again? The cut was about the difficulty of growing up, and the band apparently abandoned any effort to do that by the time this album was released. From the juvenile title (say it slowly) to the pandering nostalgia of First Date, the album isnt about looking back on youth, its about selling to it. Just see Rock Show, in which the band members embrace their mid-20s by singing about a summer break from school. Thankfully Blink recovered and actually acted their age on 2003s self-titled effort. (Perry C. Riddle / Los Angeles Times)
Album: Rockferry, 2008
Age at the time of release: Early 20s
Age captured by the album: Late 50s
Evidence: Like Amy Winehouse, Duffy is aping another era, in this case 60s soul. And its easy to get the sense that shes trying to sing as if shes got four decades of experience to boot, bringing a smoky, late-night feel to songs such as Serious and Warick Avenue. At the opening of Stepping Stone, she sings, I remember way back, way back when / I said I never want to see your face again. Way back in, what, junior year?
Age captured by the album: Mid-20s, as filtered by a mid-life crisis
Evidence: An obvious choice (see also the Who, Aerosmith, etc.), but the rock legends are being specifically called out for this 1994 effort, when the band devolved into sex-crazed kids, offering up explicit phrase after explicit phrase as if the grandpa-aged fellas had something to prove. Mick Jagger sings such shudder-inducing lyrics as I want to [explicative] your sweet [explicative] on Sparks Will Fly, and bluntly describes being aroused on Love Is Strong. Go head, call us ageists. We can take it. (Associated Press)