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.
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.
Time For Me To Fly
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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?
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
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.