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Album Review: It’s time to dance to DNCE’s self-titled album “DNCE”

Grade: A-

It’s all about having fun and keeping the party going with DNCE’s highly anticipated self-titled album “DNCE” released on Nov. 18. Heading the group is Joe Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers, along with former Jonas Brothers drummer Jack Lawless and two new members; guitarist JinJoo Lee and bassist Cole Whittle. Together they have strayed away from the Jonas Brothers’ iconic pop sound into a more individual disco-pop-rock style.

The group became official in 2015 and was deemed “Best New Artist” at the MTV Video Music Awards this year. Their first single, “Cake by the Ocean,” went double platinum. Altogether, this sets the expectations high for this album.

Apparently, this very song, “Cake by the Ocean,” was inspired by the band’s Swedish producers fumbling their words after a few drinks. Instead of saying “cocktail sex on the beach,” they were saying “cake by the ocean” and thus this fun party song was created. I particularly enjoyed the use of clapping to keep a steady beat, something they use in several of their songs. I would add this to any steamy beach playlist.

Deemed a “sexy romp” by Billboard, along with nearly 4 million video views, the fifth song on the album “Toothbrush” has also made its way up the charts. This song is supposedly a representation for Joe’s personal life. “Toothbrush” is likely the one song from this album that truly rivals Jonas’ brother, Nick’s, sexy vibes. This single is more pop than rock and has a great coupling of guitar and light synthesis on the vocals, giving an elongated, soft echoing to certain words and creating a more intimate feeling.

“Be Mean” is one of the singles on the album I could do without. This is more of a rock-disco mix in my mind. It definitely seemed similar to a much older song that escapes me. Jonas’ lyrics are strong and roughed out, with less editing to them. But there are swaying background vocals that come off a bit psychedelic.

“Pay My Rent” is sexy and energetic, like a good night should be. DNCE keeps a disco beat while adding the suave electronic essence of top pop song, adding a more old school bass background sound.

I don’t even truly know what to think about the single “Naked.” It opens with a crazy barrage of sounds, unlike the rest of the album. The chorus has an essence like that of a Maroon 5 track. But it’s still fun, with its confusing mix of sounds and quick style switches. It may even be added to club sets all over, thanks to its upbeat tempo and suggestive (but rather blunt) lyrics.

This fun-loving album is strange and unexpected when comparing it to songs these artists have worked to create in the past. However, it is not a disappointment, this group of unique artists have created a new name and a new sound for themselves and it seems a great fit for all of them.

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