There's a song on the new Jonas Brothers album in which Joe Jonas—he's the one recently seen corrupting millions of tween-aged minds with his chest hair on the cover of Rolling Stone—calls himself a "one-man show."
"I don't need no one," he declares over his brothers' energetic pop-punk groove. "I'll be fine alone." As regards matters of the heart, that may well be true. Musically speaking, though, it's unclear if the Jonases' creative autonomy—they wrote eight out of the 12 tracks on A Little Bit Longer (and co-wrote the other four)—is a surefire route to continued success. Actually, they'd have trouble avoiding success right now if they tried: Provided they keep up the multimedia campaign that this year has given us Camp Rock and next year will give us a Disney Channel series called J.O.N.A.S!, these kids could fill their albums with Gregorian chants and still attract sell-out crowds desperate to see their all-American idols in the (mostly concealed) flesh.
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But last year's self-titled, similarly self-penned CD proved that Joe, Nick and Kevin are above-average songwriters capable of condensing their disparate influences into action-packed nuggets of tween-rock tune. Here, unfortunately, the material rarely ascends to that level.