Republic Records
Release Date: November 18, 2016

by Kat Chapman

The Jonas Brothers was the first band I properly fangirled over and the third band I ever saw in concert. So when they broke up, officially, on October 29, 2013 needless to say I was heartbroken. Nick was pursuing solo work which is fine but Joe was (and still is) the love of my life. Would I ever hear his sweet voice again?

Cue DNCE, the dance-pop band of our dreams. Yes, ours, as in everyone. Don’t try to tell me you didn’t dance the last year away to “Cake By The Ocean” even though you don’t know what that really means. None of us do, it’s just a feel-good song. And the debut single from the band which Joe Jonas fronts and provides vocals for (thank GOD). The band also features Jack Lawless, Cole Whittle and JinJoo Lee.

A little over a year after “Cake” came out, DNCE released their first full-length, self-titled album on November 18, 2016. It features 14 songs, including “Cake” as well as “Toothbrush” and “Pay My Rent,” also from their debut extended play, SWAAY.

Leading up to the album, a handful of songs were released sort of as a preview and they completely sold me. The first was “Body Moves,” a risqué little tune that makes you wanna move your body. Simple. “Blown” ft. Kent Jones follows, and this one has a more like retro feel but the bridge is replaced with a rap from Jones which makes it the epitome of modern-day music. “Good Day” was also released early and again, it’s just a really simple song with uplifting lyrics about having a good day. And the last song with early release is my favorite on the whole album.

“Be Mean” is about light BDSM and having your celebrity crush sing that to you? Wow, I’m blushing just writing this. The lyrics start with “You say you like the torture honey / Well don’t forget the whip” and we’re reminded of said whip at the end of the bridge with a large whip crack and shriek from Jonas. The rest of the song features lyrics like this with an incredible beat in the back that forces you to bring out your nastiest moves. Mmm, if you listen to any song from this album, please make it this one.

The rest of the album has a similar theme and sound (similar as in about adult relationships, not BDSM…) “Doctor You” and “Naked” both flirt with the idea of wanting to get together and proposing some, ahem, fun activities to do backed by electronic dance music.

Alternatively, “Zoom” and “Unsweet” are a lot more traditionally pop I think in regards to the music and the lyrics. They feature lines like “If you want to go to the moon /  I’ll take you there, baby zoom” and “I want you unsweet / You satisfy me / That brutal honesty /  Yeah, won’t you pour your heart out on me” respectively. A lot more toned down from the sexual references in previous songs.

Like every good pop album though, DNCE included a couple ballad-esque songs. “Almost” is about a relationship that was almost perfect and is incomparable to any other relationship but was just not meant to be. And if that didn’t shatter my heart enough, “Truthfully” is there to just tear what’s left of it to shreds. The gist of the song is explained in a couple lines: “Speaking truthfully /  I loved you more than you loved me” and I’m left wondering WHO HURT JOE JONAS?! It’s still one of my favorites, a very close second behind “Be Mean.”

I left this song for last regardless of it being the title track and the first song on the album: “DNCE.” This song pokes fun at the band’s name, at one point saying “D-N…wait you forgot the ‘A’ bro!” before bouncing back in to the infectious chorus that sort of serves as a reminder that this album and this band are here to make music that makes you wanna move.

Not every album can be a 25 or a Lemonade. Those albums are important to music and pop culture, but sometimes you just need a feel good album full of (mostly) happy pop songs and that’s exactly what DNCE has delivered. They needed to match the caliber of “Cake By The Ocean,” and I think they’ve succeeded. Although nothing has been announced, I can’t wait for the tour that’ll follow this album and all the dancing that will ensue.

Reach the writer: @katachapman