Last Year Was Complicated is a mysterious piece of work. While it displays Nick Jonas in complete honesty, as he did in previous self-titled album, the emotional depth of the record goes way beyond its limits. Filled with soft R&B influences, songs like ‘Champagne Problems’ make the album more fun to listen to. It grabs you, and makes you hold on to your seat to hear what the rest of the record could entail.
‘Voodoo’ is the albums opener, and while it sounds sultry in appeal, it’s lyrics mimic a real life relationship that just doesn’t seem to add up and isn’t really worth it. He sings:
If this is what you call lovin’, I think I’m better alone
Continually detailing that loneliness is a more worthwhile and better option.
Songs like ‘Close’ ft Tove Lo and ‘Champagne Problems’ are album highlights, especially the latter, due to its funk and dance-pop nature. It’s tiny disco glides proves that Jonas could easily put out a full on disco/funk album and dazzle the world with piercing falsettos left and right. ‘Touch’ starts off with quick acoustic belts and claps keeping the record more enticing and eccentric-natured despite it’s honest self-critical lyricism.
‘Under You’, another slow-tempo number oozes a slight Michael Jackson vibe with Jonas’ voice rising swiftly up into his upper register and into pure warm ecstasy.
I was so foolish
On some stupid shit
Should have never let you go
Knowing that you left
Messes with my head
Shadows of you haunt me now
‘Unhinged’ and ‘Uncomfortable’ raps up the record and while it would have been spectacular to end with a shift into a more upbeat number, he easily steals the show with his persistent urban influence. Mid-tempo at best, Jonas ends the album with a “want more” feeling.
Nick Jonas proves he’s honest with himself and his personal demons including his relationships, feelings, etc. It can be hard for many artists to delve into these areas without succumbing to cliche points of view and somehow, he manages to do that successfully while still being a mysterious force. After this record, it’s apparent that his artistry and musicianship is constant. Still, Jonas knows that he can bring more to the table whenever he wants and the world will probably wait to hear it all.