You Bring Me Closer To God

In a stunning reversal, The Vulture aligns itself with the Enemy:

As part of our ongoing heroic effort to prepare our readers for life in a post-Jonas [Brothers[ world, we procured a copy of [the Jonas Brothers’ forthcoming record] Longer (we won’t say where from, lest the Jonases dispatch their anti-piracy ninjas to Vulture HQ), and, friends, we have some truly awful news for you this afternoon.

It’s actually sort of awesome. We didn’t want to admit it, but really it is. Just listen to “Shelf,” the track above. Not bad, right? In fact, we’re quite ready to preemptively declare it 2008’s best power-pop song about a home-storage implement. If Rivers Cuomo had written a single this great (assuming he could still do such a thing), would it not have improved the overall quality of any of the three most recent Weezer albums by at least 900 percent? When was the last time Fountains of Wayne wrote anything this catchy? Surely the Jonas Brothers had co-writers, and, admittedly, not all tracks on Longer are this well constructed … but doesn’t this sound way better than anything you’d assumed they were capable of? And can anything prevent their now-imminent world domination? We doubt it!

Normally, I defer to Vulture’s pop-appreciation skills, but this breach of taste cannot stand. You might think that “better than the New Bad Weezer” isn’t a high bar to clear, but the song they’ve posted doesn’t come close. Indeed, it makes some of Weezer’s most aggressive mediocrities look pretty good in comparison. Weezer, after all, appears to be attempting — or at least feigning the appearance of attempting — to write music with something like wit, and some sort of appeal to human beings beyond legal driving age.

The Jonases, on the other hand, have turned in the most lifeless and brutally charmless, industrially pre-packaged three minutes and forty-eight seconds of sonic blandness imaginable. Is there any question in your mind that the song was written to fill in the blanks of some overdressed Pro-Tools-wielding goon’s pre-determined pop-formula? For acts like the Jonas Brothers, the actual music is just a footnote, a minor aesthetic decision, another way to solidify the image and sell more Jonasbrotherness; in all things Jonas, the brand is the key. And this isn’t even good formula: It’s been ground, chiseled, and sandblasted into some sort of unrecognizable, generic blob of half-memorable recycled choruses — and it’s a shock to see the Vulture flip so hard for it after such a steadfast history of defense against shabby pop. Will we ever be able to trust Vulture’s judgment again? I don’t know, but let this serve as a sobering example of what happens when you get too close to your source. (Hear the vanilla atrocity in question below the jump.)