But I'm not here to complain about Miley (hey, there's a first time for everything). Actually, I want to discuss the latest singles from the Brothers Jonas and Demi Lovato. I wasn't a fan of either of their previous albums, but their most recent ones released this past summer proved that they're expanding their musical horizions and trying out new things while still somehow fitting within the Disney mold (Of course, the Jonas's album wasn't as wholly successful as Demi's, but it still proves they're moving in the right direction). They both released awesome first singles which could be, as I think PopJustice once referred to them, considered "bridging singles" (a single that bridges the gap between the old and new sound of a musical act). Everything seemed to be going great for them until the announcement of their subsequent singles. The Brothers Jonas moved from the pop gem 'Paranoid' to the generic sounding 'Fly With Me' to coincide with the release of Night at the Museum 2 (which featured the song on its soundtrack) and then on to the even more generic and 'Keep It Real' which actually sounds more like a throwaway outtake song from their TV show than a legitimate single. Demi went from 'Here We Go Again' to the annoyingly saccharine 'Gift of a Friend,' which is still the only song on Here We Go Again that I skip EVERY damn time.
How could the Disney folks and record companies be so completely clueless? Not only do the Jonases have a legitimate single contender in 'World War III' (a bit generic rock sounding but so cleverly written that it makes up for that) but they also have the sublime 'Much Better,' which is quite literally the finest thing these bros have ever created. The song sounds surprisingly mature with its 80's inspired arrangement and Joe actually displays emotion with his vocals instead of merely whining everything. The song is so perfect and, yet, here it sits on their album, damned to obscurity, just waiting for some dumb schmuck to realize, "Hey, this could be a legitimate hit if we released this right!" As for Demi, any other song on the album has the potential to be a better single than 'Gift of a Friend.' I think 'Solo' seems like a strong, albeit safe, choice after 'Here We Go Again' (much in the same way Kelly Clarkson followed 'Since U Been Gone' with 'Behind These Hazel Eyes'). If we're looking for the true masterpieces, however, how about 'Every Time You Lie,' her sweet, jazzy little grown-up number or 'Remember December,' which has the potential to be a legitimate angry anthem? To some people, it may not seem like it matters since the albums have already sold so well, but that's complete rubbish. Miley already has four Top 10 hits under her belt and has proven that a Disney teen act can make the transfer to legitimate Top 40 radio. If Disney and the record executives stop mucking it all up and start releasing songs that have a legitimate chance of doing something on the charts, then maybe more people will start taking their music more seriously. And judging by the quality of their latest work, they're more than ready for that to happen.