If I’m being completely honest, as much as I love boybands, I was never too much into The Jonas Brothers. Growing up with the late 2000’s Disney, many times recognized as the prime days of the television channel, you would have thought that I would have had Jo Bro posters on every one of my bedroom walls, owned all of their physical CDs or binge watched their Disney movies and shows. And yet, I only really listened to their popular songs. “Year 3000” and “Burnin’ Up” are some of my favorite songs of all time and they’re actually very good pop songs that have proven their longevity year after year. Even though I prefer listening to whole albums, I can’t be mad about only listening to the singles from the band when they’re this enjoyable, even after so much time has passed. After taking a quick listen to their studio album, A Little Bit Longer, I realized that even though there were other parts of the record that I enjoyed, the singles were the songs that still stuck out most to me. One of those happens to be the second one called “Lovebug”. I recall watching the music video during commercial breaks while watching Disney Channel but I didn’t recall how great this song actually is. In my defense, I hadn’t actually heard it in probably ten years so I really did forget what most of it sounded like. But despite that ten year gap, the song came back to me like a familiar friend and I even remembered most of the lyrics. But what I forgot most was I how much I really liked this track and never gave it the credit it deserved at the time.
The tracks starts out with what sounds like a ukulele with a slight folky feel and Nick Jonas handling the first verse while Joe Jonas comes in for the first chorus, all while keeping the relaxed atmosphere we started out with. The second verse leads us into more drumming and softer guitars in the back, slowing adding more subtle instrumental layers. It keeps going along this way into the third verse and just when we think the song will just keep going along this slower route, we’re hit with a guitar solo and lively rock instrumental for the last minute to finish it out. In retrospect, this is a really simple concept, yet it’s one that’s so easily memorable for a variety of reasons.
For one thing, The Jonas Brothers don’t have many songs that sound like this one. Most of what they put out, especially around this time, was pop rock without a huge focus on acoustics. Featuring a more folk pop feel to start out is unexpected to say the least but the slow buildup throughout the entire three minutes makes for perfect execution. To top it off, the way they managed to incorporate their signature sound from the time was just as nicely executed. Beyond just the general sound of it, the lyrics were entirely written by the band and are nicely put together, which I give props to as well. Coming from a group of 16 to 20 year old boys, there isn’t one line on this entire track that’s corny (trust me when I say how much of an accomplishment that is). Even the melodies that accompany the lyrics, especially the chorus, are catchy and insanely enjoyable, and make you want to sing along to every word.
It’s easy to put The Jonas Brothers in the Disney Channel box and forget about them but there’s a reason they’ve lived on beyond that. This era of Disney music was phenomenal and felt more like real music instead of just censored pop made for young kids and teens. Even to this day, the music has aged rather well; at no point does this feel immature, and even though it reminds me of a certain time, it doesn’t feel so stuck in that era. “Lovebug” especially is a song that has managed to easily live on past the Disney television screen, simple because of well written lyrics, balanced production and such entertaining parts that are impossible to not sing along to. I know that sounds ridiculously easy but it’s all easier said than done. I can’t say the same thing for many of their peers at the time. Along with that point, the versatility on this track is outstanding. I can name plenty of other songs that are built up of this same “start off slow and end off loud” structure, but I haven’t heard one exactly like this. Nor has the group themselves focused on a song with this type of feel before either. Even though we saw the boys expand into other genres and tones during their solo careers, this song just on its own demonstrated early on their ability to develop new sounds unique to them and experiment with their music a little bit. It’s really no wonder they’re still one of the best boy bands around.