An Analysis Of The Jonas Brothers Breakup, Through Lyrics

The Background

The JoBros announced this week that they were cancelling their tour. “It is over for now,” said Kevin, the brother who is allowed to have sex now.  Their spokesman – not “a source,” but actual spokesperson – said “there is a deep rift within the band. There was a big a disagreement over their music direction.” Nick Jonas, who is supposed to be the cute one, maybe?, said “the pro is that you have a really good support system. The con is that you are with the same people every day for a long time, which, if you’re family or not, can be a lot at times.” Ouch. Joe Jonas, the other brother, who is neither the youngest nor the most sexually active of the group, added glumly, “it was a unanimous decision.” If you’ve been paying attention to the lyrics, you probably saw it coming.

Our “Qualifications”

Did you see our post, A Psychological Analysis Of Miley Cyrus’ Lyrics? It was published before any singles on Miley’s new album dropped, well before the fated VMA performance, and it foretold the very things concern trolls were going to say about Miss Destiny Hope months later. Clearly, there were some secrets in her songs, and I was just the lady to extract them, by poking and prodding and contorting her lyrics until secrets exploded out like horrible cystic acne.

So, it’s like I’m some kind of combination of a psychologist, a psychic, a literary analyst, and an esthetician*.  CBS or FOX could make a series about me solving stuff via blog and cast a way more attractive person in my place. They could call it The Blog Psychic or The Lyrical Psychologist, though the latter sounds more like a Weinstein-y Oscars bait piece, especially if they cast a more attractive person in my place but fit her with prosthetics to make her less attractive. Just, you know, do a Full Halle. Really Charlize it. All of that.

When I saw that the Jonas Brothers broke up, I knew the clues were in their lyrics, too. They had to be. So, I Veronica Mars’ed it a little. And friends, the signs were there all along.

The Evidence:

Time For Me To Fly

Lyrics:

Time for me to fly
Time for me to soar
Time for me to open up my heart and knock on heavens door
Time for me to live
It’s time for me to sing
Time for me to lay down all my worries and I’ll spread my wings
Time for me to fly

Analysis:

This is early, early Jonas Brothers – vintage 2006 – but obviously someone was already pretty over it. Some may say that the lyrics about “heaven’s door”, wings, and “lay[ing] down all my worries” are oblique references to death and heaven. To that I say, Yeah. EXACTLY. It was T-7 years until the demise of the JoBros and someone was already ready to die to get out.

That’s Just The Way We Roll

Lyrics:

I woke up on my roof with my brothers
There’s a whale in the pool with my mother
And my dad paints the house different colors
Where would we be, if we couldn’t dream?

Analysis:

First of all, as you enter your twenties – as the Jonas Brothers have maybe, probably all done by now – children of unstable homes, all roof-sleeping with large aquatic mammals in the pool, slapping the  house in the wackiest colors Benjamin Moore could dream of, learn to create a little stability for themselves. That’s why the old one got married, and had or is going to have a baby. I forget which. Does it really matter?

The Langston Hughes-y line at the end of the verse says it all: Where would we be, if we couldn’t dream? Truly, what happens to a dream deferred? Does it shrivel up like a raisin in the sun, leaving you stranded on a tour bus with your adult siblings, singing pop tunes to a rapidly waning fan-base of young girls? Or does it explode, like so much water from the blowhole of a swimming pool whale?

Pushing Me Away

Lyrics:

You’re going nowhere
Try to fix what you’ve done […]
Pushing me away
Every last word, every single thing you say […]
try to stop me now but it’s already too late […]
If you really don’t care then say it to my face
Pushing me away

Analysis:

Wow, guys. Just wow. Pretty prescient, right? Going nowhere? As in, staying in one place? Because you are not on tour? A tour where you would, presumably, be going somewhere? Pushing me away – as in, out of our Band of Brothers? Signs, signs, everywhere a sign.

Sorry

Lyrics:

Broken hearts and last goodbyes
Restless nights but lullabies
Helps to make this pain go away
I realize I let you down
Told you that I’d be around
Buildin’ up the strength just to say

I’m sorry
For breakin’ all the promises that I wasn’t around to keep
It’s all me
This time is the last time I will ever beg you to stay
But you’re already on your way

Analysis:

As the oldest Jonas Brother prepares to embrace fatherhood (lullabies!), he takes stock of his band’s inevitable breakup (last goodbyes!). He told his brothers he’d be around (because they’re brothers!) but ultimately wasn’t able to keep his promise (they broke up!). He begs the others to stay (“unanimous decision,” Joe? The lady doth protest too much.) Even five years ago, Kevin was planning his out as soon as he welcomed his firstborn. Perhaps before the band took off, he met the devil, disguised as an old jazz man or a swamp witch, who promised him fame and glory in exchange for his firstborn. Maybe that’s why it had to end now. Maybe that was the only way.

Don’t Speak

Lyrics:

I thought I was cool
But I just looked a fool
For so long
Now you’re gone […]
Don’t speak to me […]
I recall all our fights

Analysis:

As the first decade of the 2000s comes to a close, a Jonas Brother – maybe Nick, maybe not – realizes that he does not look as cool as he once thought he did. Once young enough to be ensnared by Disney’s glittery neon web, he has grown and changed since the band’s early days. He names his song after a hit single by No Doubt, hoping, praying, that it lends him some credibility – that it makes him cool, rather than looking like a fool. Sometimes the brothers do not speak, but they fight. And Nick, or whoever, remembers. How could he forget?

Found

Lyrics:

Kids gotta grow
This kind of life is bound to bore you
Yeah I should know
But you always seem to break the rhythm
In this messed up world

Analysis:

This 2013 tune could be one of the last the Jonas Brothers ever record, and it lays it all out there, raw and real. Children grow up. This kind of life – a pop trio with your brothers – is bound to bore you, no matter how many games of Mario Kart I imagine they play on their tour bus, how many bags of Cheetos and Sour Patch Kids are probably guaranteed on their tour rider. It is time to break the rhythm in this messed up world — to end the band. As Fleetwood Mac once said, time makes you bolder, children get older, and Joe, Nick, and Kevin are getting older, too.

* Note: this satire. I am not a psychologist, a psychic, a literary analyst, nor an esthetician. I have no insight into the Jonas Brothers breakup. I don’t even know which one is which. As in, I had to look up their names. I thought there was a Matt – like, really could have sworn there was a Matt. Are we sure they didn’t break up because they stopped asking Matt around? I feel bad for him.

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The Kimye Pregnancy – A Retrospective

Over the past weeks, months, and — has it been years? — we’ve grown accustomed to the Kim Kardashian/ Kanye West pregnancy. It sort of seemed like it would always be here, you know? I mean it seemed like it would never END. But it’s over now, and maybe you’re starting to feel a little lost. Whose pregnancy couture will I judge now? Not Kate Middleton’s, because they’re putting her away until the baby comes. Whose baby names will I bet on? Again, not Kate Middleton’s, because there are like 10 acceptable Royal British Baby Names.

The only thing to do, then, is to look back at the fond memories. Grab a nice cup of tea, queue up some sentimental music (I suggest Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel), and remember the gestation that was.

Early December:

  • Kim Kardashian slams pregnancy rumors as “absolutely not true”.
  • Kim and Kanye are “just friends,” and she’s ostensibly involved with Gabriel Aubry.

Later December:

  • Kim Kardashian confirms pregnancy rumors as “absolutely true.”
  • The internet sees a spike in “I’mma let you finish” jokes — highest since 2009.

Winter-ish:

  • Kim and Kanye start to be sighted in public, looking like a couple who went to prom together because neither of them had dates yet.

Winter of my discontent:

  • Kim starts sporting “maternity fashions.” All of them are actually worse than the shirt my mom wore during all 4 of her pregnancies, a red number that read “I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant.” I want one of those, but only to wear when I’m looking a little fat, just to mess with people a bit.

The Longest Spring Ever:

  • Kim Kardashian keeps being pregnant. Forever. Never NOT pregnant. Also, Keeping Up With The Kardashians begins airing episodes that feature the pregnancy, because if there’s anything worse than going to the doctor, it’s going to the doctor with Kanye West’s fetus and Kim Kardashian.

May:

  • The invite to Kim’s baby shower is leaked (read: is released by Kris Kardashian). It looks like a prop from an episode of Are You Afraid Of The Dark. When you’re asleep, the tiny Kardashian ballerina escapes, dances into your ear, films your insides, and licenses the footage to E!.
  • Rumor has it that the music box plays “Mama,” a very sweet song by Kanye. Is that really the most apt Kanye tune though? I like picturing Kanye staring into the music box, shell-sh0cked, as it chirps “18 years, 18 years, she got one of your kids, got you for 18 years…”.

June:

  • Kanye West cheating stories begin to surface. Kim laughs them off, but I bet it’s that kind of laughing where you’re also a little sad. And also no sound is coming out. Plus there are tears in your eyes. And your nose starts running.

Crying. She was probably crying.

  • While we’re talking about the Kanye West of it all, Amber Rose is pregnant, too! You may be familiar with Amber Rose from her previous work, standing near Kanye West at industry events and being photographed at basketball games.

    That help? The father is Wiz Khalifa, who I just found out is younger than me. Ugh. Can’t stand people who are younger than me.

FINALLY:

    • The pregnancy comes to a close. Kim has a baby girl. Twitter explodes into a million pieces. They don’t release the name right away because they HATE US and don’t want us to be happy.
    • Despite this being the longest gestation ever, the baby was somehow actually born early, most likely to coincide with the release of Yeezy’s new album. It’s nice to have everything drop the same week, you know?
    • Rumor has it the baby is named Kaidence Donda. I for-real almost called Cadence but spelled weird as the name. Donda, I’ll give you, because that’s Kanye’s late mom’s name. But Kaidence though? I can’t wait to see her compete in Little Miss Southern Arkansas Glitz Supreme in 2017 or so, because that is straight-up Toddlers and Tiaras business. Who knows – Media Takeout is almost always wrong, anyway.

Wait, no. Nope. Just kidding. North West is the name. Suddenly, my parents’ naming philosophy (“let the 8-year-old decide”) isn’t so bad. It’s a better tactic than “things your great-uncle would find funny,” anyway.

Funny. Now the name Kaidence sounds almost classy and beautiful. Well done, Kardashian-Wests. I suppose.

I hope the retrospective hasn’t made you miss the Kardashian pregnancy too much already. Whenever it gets tough, just remember — we haven’t lost a celebrity pregnancy, we’ve gained a celebrity baby.