Long before the international tours, the Disney Channel productions, and a few Vegas residencies, the Jonas Brothers were just three brothers from Wyckoff, New Jersey that lived by one motto: “Live like you’re at the bottom even if you’re at the top.” It’s been almost two decades since the release of their 2006 debut album It’s About Time and between then and now, the brother trio have been on a rollercoaster, one that included a cancelled album and a six year break-up. But they’ve survived and evolved.
In the almost two decades since their formation, the Jonas Brothers have created a discography that both cater to their pop-loving audience and their artistry. Record by record, the Jonas Brothers prove they honor their craft by reinventing what it means to be a boy band that are still releasing radio-friendly records while being in their 30s.
On the heels of their upcoming album — aptly titled The Album — out in May, we’re ranking all of the Jonas Brothers’ albums.
5. Lines, Vines & Trying Times (2009)
In the last album before their break-up, Lines, Vines & Trying Times was released just one year after A Little Bit Longer, proving to be a product of a rushed record that lacked the space and time needed to grow as artists and songwriters. What did expand — and would eventually be seen on the following LP — was their desire to explore different genres and sounds. Songs like “Don’t Charge Me for the Crime,” which features rapper Common, demonstrates the brothers’ desires to grow out of their typical pop tunes and explore darker themes, something they would lean into on tracks like “Happy When I’m Sad” on Happiness Begins.
4. It’s About Time (2006)
The album that started it all for the Jonas Brothers was released on then-label INO Records, a Christian imprint that aligned with the framing of the brothers as “wholesome” and squeaky-clean. The songs throughout the record mirrored that same image, including two songs by U.K. band Busted — “Year 3000” and “What I Go to School For,” where Busted writes and sings about loving a teacher in the latter and “triple breasted women” swimming around town in the former. Although the religious-leaning label would somewhat do a disservice to the record, songs like “7:05” and “You Just Don’t Know It” have a rock-infused sound that, despite Nick and Joe’s teen vocals, gives listeners an insight into where the band would explore sonically and lyrically on later albums.
3. Happiness Begins (2019)
The 2019 release of Happiness Begins encompasses the 10 years of life the three brothers had between their 2009 album Lines, Vines & Trying Times to then. Where their previous record lacked the growth and experience, Happiness Begins showcases a perspective shift following their 2013 break-up with adjustments in their personal lives, like marriage and coming back together as a band again. As a whole, Happiness Begins features the Jonas Brothers embracing their signature up-tempo pop sound perfected on records like Jonas Brothers and A Little Bit Longer, blended with the creativity first explored on Lines, Vines & Trying Times with ’80s new wave and reggae.
2. A Little Bit Longer (2008)
Following the success of their self-titled LP, the Jonas Brothers further unpack personal struggles with powerful power-pop tracks that are equal parts sickly-sweet and empowering. Toying with the typical boy band themes of love, lust, and heartbreak, A Little Bit Longer goes deeper and represents the sonic embodiment of their coming-of-age journey. While still exploring the aforementioned themes, the record shows the band diving into their own psyche to better understand themselves, as heard in songs like “Tonight” and “Can’t Have You.” There is a stark juxtaposition between rock tracks like “Burnin’ Up” featuring a rap by their then-bodyguard Big Rob and soft ballads like the title track, with a song like “Lovebug” infusing both.
1. Jonas Brothers (2007)
Jonas Brothers’ self-titled sophomore record is the defining project in their discography, which, despite being their second album, serves as a reintroduction to the band. Jonas Brothers is written entirely by the trio, showing a more mature perspective when faced with personal experiences and struggles they’ve had and crafting them into songs. Tracks like “Take a Breath” and “Hold On” are empowering anthems to lean on during tough times, while soothing ballads like “When You Look Me in The Eyes” and “Hello Beautiful” give fans space to explore romance safely. As a whole, Jonas Brothers is a pop record that foresees their own journey as a band of brothers in a boyband after almost two decades in the music industry. But it’s the track “Hollywood” that captures their ethos: “Fallen soldiers all around us/But we’re still standing strong.”