Though the Jason Evigan-produced song isn't technically Jonas' solo debut (that would be his pre-Jonas Brothers album Nicholas Jonas from 2004), it is the first music that Jonas has released since the Jonas Brothers canceled their comeback tour and split-up back in October 2013. Jonas has since signed with Island Records, and is currently working on an as-of-yet untitled full-length album.
"Chains" offers a glimpse of the complete departure that Jonas seems to be taking from the Jonas Brothers' pop-rock sound, instead pursuing a darker, relatively minimalist R&B sound reminiscent of How To Dress Well or Miguel. The lyrics are certainly the song's weakest point (Do we really need another song with "Baby tell me why/Why you do/Do me wrong"?) but the production and Jonas' vocal performance more than make up for it. I don't exactly see this becoming a big hit, but it could definitely earn Jonas some artistic credibility after toiling in the Disney-pop world for most of his career. I'm sure your brothers are nice guys, Nick, but you sound much better without them.
Billboard points out that Jonas' upcoming album will not feature the Administration, who he performed with as Nick Jonas & The Administration for 2010's Who I Am. Outside of his music career, Complex notes that Jonas has signed on to star in DirecTV's upcoming martial arts drama Kingdom.