British phenom Jonas Blue has had quite the upward trajectory over the past few years. After 2015’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s ‘80s smash “Fast Car”, Jonas quickly caught the ears of the dance community, and his career blossomed soon after. Blue is the producer’s first full-length outing, and features a slew of his well-known singles, plus a line-up of all-star guests that have the power to propel this album and himself into mainstream production superstardom.
The album opens with “Drink to You”, a poppy anthem that is beautifully carried by Zak Abel’s powerful, folksy soul vocal. It is also a fitting preview of the rest of the record, with catchy choruses and crisp production being this album’s strong suit. The Hotel Transylvania 3 movie promo track “I See Love” works surprisingly well in the grand scheme of the album, for as squeaky clean and accessible as it is. The dance-pop production manages to stand out in a sea of mostly tropical house tracks, and Joe Jonas’s voice is of course the perfect pop match, softer when it needs to be, yet matching the high-energy of each hook.
Liam Payne is no stranger to the mainstream dance scene, having previously collaborated with the likes of Zedd. On “Polaroid”, he proves himself a worthy voice again, with help from newcomer Lennon Stella. Though fairly similar production-wise to many of the tracks throughout the record, the lyricism here stands out more for its storytelling, bringing just the right amount of relatable nostalgia and metaphorical phrasing to keep listeners hooked on what Payne and Stella have to say about one another.
Though tracks like “Wherever You Go”, “Purpose”, and “Wild” sound out of place and come up a little short in comparison to the rest of the record, the high points like the mature and emotional “Supernova” and the chilled out and airy “We Could Go Back” make up for any stumbles here. The older singles too, sound just as wonderful in context of the album as they did on their own. The bouncy, vocal-chopped drop of “By Your Side” stands out brilliantly, while the aforementioned “Fast Car” is still as tasteful a cover as ever, serving as a fitting closer and reminding us of what started it all for Blue.
Overall, Blue is a successful debut. There are plenty of tracks that show a lot of promise here for Jonas Blue’s production skills, and this clearly is just the beginning for what should be a fruitful career for him. It is modern, emotional, danceable, and remains nicely accessible, which bodes well for his future work. Look out for Jonas Blue to be hitting the airwaves heavily in the coming months and have your eyes and ears open for what he has to offer next.