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Happiness Begins


Happiness Begins


Happiness Begins is the fifth studio album by American pop rock band Jonas Brothers, released on June 7, 2019, by Republic Records. It is their first studio album since Lines, Vines and Trying Times (2009). For the record, the band enlisted producers Ryan Tedder, Greg Kurstin, Justin Tranter, along with Joel Little, Mike Sabath and Shellback to help create a "new and improved sound" with "feel-good tracks" pop album.

It marked the first body of work of original material released by the group since their reunion on February 28, 2019, and marked a departure from the more pop rock sound from the previous albums. It was preceded by their comeback single "Sucker", and was supported by the singles "Cool" and "Only Human", all of which achieve commercial success and charted in several countries, with the former debuting atop the Billboard Hot 100.

The record was critically well received, who complimented it for the production values and upbeat, pop-oriented sound. With critics calling it a welcomed reunion for the band and a good pop album, Happiness Begins was regarded as one of the best albums from the Jonas Brothers' catalog, as it captured their mature essence while preserving the charm present since the early years.

The album debuted at number atop the US Billboard 200 and charted on multiple countries. It was a commercial success, having sold over one million units in the United States, being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It has also received gold or higher certification in Canada, Brazil, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Singapore. To support the album, the Jonas Brothers embarked on the Happiness Begins Tour, from August 7, 2019 to February 22, 2020, having performed 92 shows in Europe and North America.

Background

On February 28, 2019, the Jonas Brothers announced their comeback via their social media accounts. On March 1, they released the lead single, "Sucker", their first under Republic Records label. The band announced the album on social media on April 22, 2019. It was set to break their decade-long album drought, after not releasing any new material since 2013's LiVe.

The album was preceded by a documentary titled Chasing Happiness, which premiered on June 4 on Amazon Prime Video. The film chronicles the band's journey since their break up in 2013, until their reunion in early 2019. It shows the process of reunion while the band talks about their journey and their careers.

Writing and recording

In writing and recording for the album, the brothers said that they wanted a "new and improved sound" with "feel-good tracks", so their A&R at Republic Records, Wendy Goldstein, got in contact with Ryan Tedder, Greg Kurstin and Justin Tranter to help compose and produce songs for them. Tedder stated that they would "write a song in about 90 minutes, [... and] cut it in the second hour. It would be demo'd by dinner". This resulted in the pop-oriented, commercial sound of the album.

Billboard described the resulting sound as containing "hints of everything from '80s new wave to reggae to country", and also said that "Nick describes [album track] 'Hesitate' as Joe's love letter to Sophie, while 'I Believe' is a synth-heavy slow jam that alludes to his own whirlwind romance with Chopra".

Release and promotion

The band announced the album in a Twitter post on April 22, 2019, sharing the cover art and release date. The brothers then separately shared the news, with Kevin stating that he was "most proud" of the album.

On April 30, the band posted teasers to social media with "Happiness Begins tomorrow". The next day, the band officially announced the Happiness Begins Tour, which began on August 7, 2019. The tour played 92 shows in North America and Europe.

Singles

On March 1, 2019, "Sucker" was released as the lead single from the album. The music video was directed by Anthony Mandler and was released on the same day. The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the Jonas Brothers' first song to do so. It was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards and in four categories at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, winning for Best Pop Video.

On April 5, 2019, "Cool" was released as the second single. The song debuted and peaked at number 27 on the Hot 100. The accompanying music video for "Cool" was also directed by Mandler, and premiered on the same day. "Only Human" was released as the third and final single of the album on July 2, 2019. The music video was directed by Mandler again and was released on August 13, 2019. The song peaked at number 18 on the Hot 100.

Critical reception

Happiness Begins received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented the album's production and well-crafted pop sound. The Independent's Roisin O'Connor called it "the best pop comeback – and likely one of the best pop albums – of the year", writing that "this album contains the best songs the group has produced to date". For Variety, A.D. Amorosi wrote that the record "proves Kevin, Joe and Nick never lost the familial vibe — harmonic and intuitive — that came from growing up", while complimenting the album's upbeat vibe and saying the "Jonas Brothers are back, and just in time to show the BTS(es) of the world how it’s really done".

AllMusic gave the album a four out of five stars rating, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine saying: "Happiness Begins was designed to push the Jonas Brothers back into the big time", complimenting that it "offers old-fashioned pop values in a form that feels distinctly fresh and modern". Olivia Horn of Pitchfork wrote that "it’s a respectable showing from a group that has long deserved more respect than they got", noting the sound to be "up to date with current pop trends".

Consequence's Christopher Thiessen called the album "the best effort the brothers have put forth in their career together or separately", saying it was a "welcome" reunion for the band. He also complimented the track's upbeat production that make the album a "refreshingly intimate pop record". Commenting on the album, Craig Jenkins of Vulture said "as reunions go, Happiness Begins is the best possible outcome" and that the band is "at the peak of its individual members’ powers as singers and songwriters". For Uproxx, Chloe Gilke wrote: "The Jonas Brothers’ sound as a whole has evolved to fit their songwriting sensibilities and the trends of pop in 2019" and that they "use the album as a showcase for their evolution as musicians, delivering god-tier pop that’s both perfectly ready for 2019 and reminiscent of a familiar kind of happiness. Listening to them still feels like hanging out with my best friends on a sunny summer day. They still make the kind of music I want to memorize like nothing else exists".

Commercial performance

Happiness Begins debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 414,000 album-equivalent units, of which 357,000 were pure sales, becoming the Jonas Brothers' fourth number-one album in the country.

In Canada, Happiness Begins, also debuted at number one with 36,000 album-equivalent units, being the group's third chart-topping album following A Little Bit Longer and Lines, Vines and Trying Times. It was the 17th best selling album of 2019 with 620,000 copies sold worldwide.

Track listing

Notes

  • ^[c] signifies a co-producer.
  • ^[v] signifies a vocal producer.

Personnel

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.

Jonas Brothers

  • Joe Jonas – vocals (all tracks), background vocals (2)
  • Nick Jonas – vocals (all tracks), background vocals (2), electric guitar (7), drums (11), keyboards (14)
  • Kevin Jonas – background vocals (2)

Additional musicians

Technical

Artwork

  • Jacob Lerman – art direction
  • Kyledidthis – art direction
  • Sandy Brummels – art direction
  • Jack Gorlin – photography
  • Peggy Sirota – photography

Charts

Certifications

References


Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Happiness Begins by Wikipedia (Historical)