A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this album delves into problems with romantic relationships, the boys keep things mostly light and fun. And unlike a lot of music targeted at the adolescent market, this is one CD that parents should find easy to listen to again and again.
What's the story?
LINES, VINES AND TRYING TIMES is the fourth studio album for the teen idol trio. Full of a dozen tracks, the album has the boys crooning about lots of relationship trouble "all I get is attitude," and teen girls should have plenty of reasons to feel sorry for these lovesick guys that seem to be taking their hits in love (see: "World War III," "Poison Ivy," "Paranoid"). Lines… finds the group expanding their musical horizons and covering lots of different genres on the album, from their standard pop rock to bluegrass, country, and funk. There's even some retro sounds reminiscent of Human League and Genesis (complete with full horn and string sections!).
Is it any good?
The Jonas Brothers prove once again that they are a cut above the standard boy band. Lines, Vines and Trying Times is a surprisingly rich collection of songs that cover a wide scope of musical territory. Although there are some great pop ballads on the album that have that classic Disney rock sound, like "Fly with Me," there's also some daring additions such as "What Did I Do To Your Heart" with its country-twang and rockin' fiddle and the totally 80's fan tribute "Much Better." The JoBros' natural likability is in full effect and the trio displays a refreshing degree of self-awareness and humility on tracks like "Paranoid" and "Keep it Real," where the boys insist they haven't let fame and fortune go to their head. "Livin' life, life in the fast lane, not that bad, no we can't complain, who's to say we won't keep it real?"
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of the Jonas Brothers. Do you think the songs on this album will help endear the Brothers to their fans? The Brothers don’t talk much about getting girls to like them or bragging about how cool or attractive they are. Instead they sing about being paranoid, getting treated badly by girlfriends and even innocently getting wrapped up in a robbery. Will this help them to stay relevant to their fans, even though their real lives can look like an enviable dream come true?