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Nick Jonas, Tove Lo 'Close' Review: Vulnerable New Single Leads 'Last Year Was Complicated'

by Carolyn Menyes   Mar 25, 2016 11:50 AM EDT

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When announcing his new album Last Year Was Complicated, Nick Jonas revealed that he was not going to shy away from his personal life and breakups in his new music. ""Sh*t is too real sometimes... Reliving some of these real life experiences through this music is hard," Jonas tweeted. "But I know it's important that I do it. I want to be an open book in my art.." And, boy, did he deliver with his new Tove Lo assisted single "Close."

And, boy, does he deliver.

Oftentimes, when artists announce they're getting "personal" with their new music, we get hints at a heartbreak or issues or struggles or even happiness, but the proverbial tea is still mostly kept in the cup. Jonas, with the help of a stunning vocal turn from Tove Lo, spills that tea all over.

"Cause if I want you, and I want you, babe / Ain't going backwards, won't ask for space / Cause space is just a word made up by someone who's afraid to get too / Close," Jonas (and later Tove Lo) sing in the pre-chorus, transitioning seamlessly into the real meat of the song.

Away from Jonas grappling with his tendency to pull away from a new relationship just as its beginning, musically there are interesting aspects of this lead single. While still maintaining his PBR&B sound from his first post-Jonas Brothers album, "Close" is notably less industrial than, say, "Chains" or "Levels."

With the introduction of steel drums from the very first moments of this song, an instrument not used all that often, there's immediately something dramatic in this song. And, indeed, somehow the instrumentation bumps up the vulnerability of this track. It's effective.

"Close" is the lead single from Nick Jonas' new album Last Year Was Complicated. The follow-up to his simmering 2014 album Nick Jonas is due for release on June 10.

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