The Jonas Brothers have a very clear, straight-ahead sound, but the individual members have more esoteric aspirations that come alive in their individual work. Last year’s album by Nick Jonas and the Administration traded in power pop for a throwback brand of synthed-up funk rock, and Joe Jonas’ upcoming solo project promises to dive headlong into a more electronic place. In a recent conversation with MTV News, Joe revealed that his biggest inspirations lately have been acts like Daft Punk and Justice. “Artists you can dance to, electro stuff, DJs in Europe — they’re all very exciting to me,” he explained while sitting next to producer Danja.
Of course, dance music crossed over into the pop world in a big way in 2010, with a handful of DJs grabbing mainstream attention (like David Guetta and the members of Swedish House Mafia) and many high-profile stars (including Usher, whose “OMG” was declared the top song of the year by the MTV News collective). But if Joe is serious about really diving deep into the world of computer-based music, he should really explore the late ’90s scene, which made grand attempts to cross over to the rock world. Here are some of the albums he should check out.
Chemical Brothers, Dig Your Own Hole
Back in 1997, everybody thought the future was going to sound like “Setting Sun,” the massive track that featured swirling guitars, a huge drum break and the voice of Oasis’ Noel Gallagher. It still might be true.
Roni Size/Reprazent, New Forms
Jungle never really got as big a foothold as other electronic sub-genres like trip-hop or house, but Roni Size’s watershed album with his Reprazent collective explored dozens of permutations of the darker side of the dance world.
The Icelandic indie-pop queen has always pushed the boundaries of electronic music and incorporated fringe elements into her albums, but Homogenic — which combines drum machine eruptions and spacey computer effects with lush, organic strings — is her apex.
Air, Moon Safari
Combining classic pop and low-fi psychedelia, Air’s music is hard to dance to but easy to get lost in.
UNKLE, Psyence Fiction
UNKLE founder James Lavelle put together a constantly rotating group of electronic all-stars (including DJ Shadow and Money Mark) and crafted a crossover album that married their cinematic approach to head-spinning trip-hop with some top shelf rappers and singers (including Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft and rapper Kool G Rap). Demands a listen if only for “Rabbit in Your Headlights,” a haunting end-of-the-world dirge.
What electronic albums would you suggest to Joe Jonas? Let us know in the comments!