Whatever you might have heard about the Jonas Brothers, their new album, Lines, Vines, and Trying Times, isn't terrible at all. Sure, their first album, 2006's It's About Time, was a wretched, so-bad-it's-funny collection of bubblegum pop tunes, unpalatable from the first track: "That's what I go to school for/Even though it is a real bore/You can call me crazy/She is so amazing." Awful, right? Right. But Lines... shows that the boys are growing up faster than their target demographic. It's not exactly the difference between Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds, but maybe between Please Please Me and Help!
Haters can certainly find material to pick on, but after breakups with Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, the brothers Jonas have traded in their peppy vocals for a little more soul and their Mickey Mouse chords for crunchier, tougher riffs and a decent collaboration with rapper Common. The best track, "Poison Ivy," ventures enticingly close to glam metal, and in the end, we're left with a handful of other tracks, such as "Much Better" and "What Did I Do to Your Heart," that are surprisingly catchy.