Last Year Was Complicated

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Last Year Was Complicated
Nick Jonas - Last Year Was Complicated (Official Album Cover).png
Studio album by Nick Jonas
Released June 10, 2016 (2016-06-10)
Recorded September 2014 – March 2016
Genre
Length 42:34
Label
Producer
Nick Jonas chronology
Nick Jonas
(2014)Nick Jonas2014
Last Year Was Complicated
(2016)
Singles from Last Year Was Complicated
  1. "Close"
    Released: March 25, 2016
  2. "Bacon"
    Released: July 12, 2016

Last Year Was Complicated is the third solo album by American singer Nick Jonas. It was released on June 10, 2016, by Island and Safehouse Records. The album features collaborations with Tove Lo, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean and Daniella Mason. The album's lead single, "Close", was released on March 25, 2016.

Background[edit]

"When I first started making I thought I knew what it would be about… Then I had a breakup. It then became very clear what this thing would be about… And that I would need to dig really deep… Shit is too real sometimes… Reliving some of these real life experiences through this music is hard."

Nick Jonas, on the recording of album.[1]

On August 5, 2015, Jonas debuted and performed a new song, "Under You", at the iHeartRadio Music Summit.[2] In February 2016, Jonas covered the February/March 2016 edition of Complex magazine he mentioned the songs "Chainsaw" and "Don't Make Me Choose", and also revealed a surprising collaboration with Purity Ring’s Corin Roddick.[3] That same month, it was revealed that singer Ty Dolla $ign had a feature on the record and that there was also a female singer on the record which name he didn't reveal. He also revealed that he worked again with Jason Evigan and Sir Nolan.[4]

On March 24, 2016, Jonas announced the album's title, release date and tracklist through a series of tweets.[5] Jonas revealed that work on the album took him a year and a half, tweeting: "Shit is too real sometimes... Reliving some of these real life experiences through this music is hard".[6] During a radio interview with Carson Daly, Jonas noted that the album was supposed to be named Unhinged like the song on the record. However, after a conversation with rapper Jay Z, Jonas changed the title to Last Year Was Complicated.[7]

Promotion[edit]

Two songs of the record ("Don't Make Me Choose" and "Under You") were performed on several dates of his Nick Jonas: Live in Concert tour.[8] Jonas is set to promote the record on the Future Now Tour alongside Demi Lovato.[9] On the evening of March 24, 2016, Jonas previewed four tracks from Last Year Was Complicated during a listening party, held for the press and television bookers.[10] Jonas performed the songs "Champagne Problems" and "Close" (with Tove Lo) live on Saturday Night Live on April 16, 2016.[11][12] On April 24, 2016, Jonas performed the songs "Bacon", "Close" and "Voodoo" during his set at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. He announced also that there will be a music video of "Voodoo".[13]

During the taping of CMT Crossroads he performed the songs "Chainsaw" with Thomas Rhett and "Close" with Thomas Rhett and Danielle Bradbery.[14] He and Tove Lo are set to perform the song live on May 22, 2016 at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.[15] On April 28, Both of them performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[16] He performed a solo version of the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 9, 2016.[17] Jonas is set to perform at the 2016 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards.[18] On June 10 he performed the songs Jealous, Close, Champagne Problems and Bacon live on Today.[19] He Performed Close, The Difference and When We Get Home at a target surprise show.[20]

Singles[edit]

On March 24, 2016, "Close" was announced as the album's lead single. Released the following day, the song features guest vocalist, Swedish singer, Tove Lo.[10]

"Bacon", featuring Ty Dolla $ign, was originally released as a promotional single on June 3, 2016.[21] It was sent to US Rhythmic radio on July 12, 2016, as the album's second single, replacing "Chainsaw", which had originally been confirmed for the position.[22][23][24] A music video of the song was released on Tidal on June 6, 2016, with a 30-second teaser available to non-subscribers.[25]

Promotional singles[edit]

"Champagne Problems" was released as the first promotional single on April 8, 2016.[26] On November 7 he dropped the video of the song online.[27] "Chainsaw" was released as the second promotional single on May 13, 2016 along with the video. Its music video was released on May 13, 2016, and was directed by Luke Monaghan.[28] The song was originally planned to be released as the second single, but was replaced by "Bacon".

Other songs[edit]

"Under You" charted at 8 on the New Zealand heatseekers chart on June 20, 2016.[29] The video of the song was released on June 10. It's served to be released on UK radio sometime.[30] On October 11 the video of the track "Voodoo" premiered exclusively on Tidal, with a 30-second teaser for non subscribers.[31]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic68/100[32]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[33]
Consequence of SoundC–[34]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[35]
Idolator3.5/5 stars[36]
The Guardian3/5 stars[37]
Pitchfork6.3/10[38]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[39]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[40]
Spin7/10[41]
USA Today2/4 stars[42]

Last Year Was Complicated received positive reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic claimed that the album "feels assured in a way its eponymous 2014 predecessor did not," noting that "the entirety of 'Last Year Was Complicated' walks a fine line between immaculately produced pop confection and personal confession: it may not be heartbreaking but it feels as if it comes from the heart."[33] In his review for Entertainment Weekly, Nolan Feeney declared that it "grows into the neon pop-R&B sound of 2014’s Nick Jonas while adopting a show-don’t-tell approach to maturity on [its] songs."[35] Keith Harris wrote for Rolling Stone that Jonas is "personable and versatile" on the record, while praising his "supple falsetto" for "sounding wounded or seductive as required, allows him to stake out his own patch of territory on the border between pop and R&B."[39] Sam C. Mac of Slant Magazine noted that despite the break-up themes, "'Last Year Was Complicated' offers an even more vibrant collection of colorful, propulsive beats than 'Nick Jonas' did." However, he observed that "as a singer, Jonas isn't always willing to evolve with his music."[40] Harriet Gibsone of The Guardian highlighted that "There are many quirks to this glossy, compelling record, but [...] it’s not savvy or strange enough to stand out."[37]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 66,000 units, being 47,000 actual album sales, that gave to him a position at number one that week on the Top Albums sales Chart, in the United States.[43]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition[44]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Voodoo"
Evigan3:10
2."Champagne Problems"Evigan3:12
3."Close" (featuring Tove Lo)Mattman & Robin3:54
4."Chainsaw"
Sir Nolan3:19
5."Touch"
  • Mattman & Robin
  • Love
3:02
6."Bacon" (featuring Ty Dolla $ign)
Sir Nolan3:02
7."Good Girls" (featuring Big Sean)
Evigan3:56
8."The Difference"
  • Jonas
  • Evigan
  • Whitmore, Jr.
Evigan3:41
9."Don't Make Me Choose"
  • Jonas
  • Lambroza
  • Wilcox
Sir Nolan3:35
10."Under You"
3:17
11."Unhinged"
Sir Nolan3:52
12."Comfortable"
  • Jonas
  • Evigan
  • Jonas
  • Evigan
4:34
Total length:42:34
Notes

^[a] signifies a vocal producer.

Sample credits
  • "Comfortable" contains audio elements of Allen Iverson's press conference.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the standard edition of Last Year Was Complicated.[47]

Performers and musicians

  • Nick Jonas – vocals, guitars (track 12)
  • Tove Lo – featured artist (track 3)
  • Ty Dolla $ign – featured artist (track 6)
  • Big Sean – featured artist (track 7)
  • Deanna DellaCioppa – background vocals (track 4)
  • Demi Lovato - background vocals (track 12)
  • Sean Douglas – additional keys (tracks 2, 8)
  • Jason Evigan – all instruments (tracks 1–2, 7–8, 12)
  • Rickard Göransson – bass (track 10)
  • Marcus Kincy – additional keys (tracks 1, 12), piano (track 12), additional bass (track 12)
  • Savan Kotecha – background
  • Pierre Luc – guitars (track 2)
  • Mattman & Robin – bass (tracks 3, 5), keyboards (track 3), drums and percussion (tracks 3, 5), marimba (track 3), snaps and handclaps (tracks 3, 5), synths (track 5), guitars (track 5)
  • Julia Michaels – background vocals (track 3)
  • Ali Payami – drums (track 10), keys (track 10), synths (track 10), bass (track 10)
  • Shellback – drums (track 10), guitars (track 10)
  • Dewain Whitmore, Jr. – background vocals (track 8)

Production

  • Cory Bice – assistant (tracks 5, 10)
  • Peter Carlsson – vocal editing (track 10)
  • John Cranfield – recording (track 3)
  • Serge Curtois – mixing (tracks 6, 11)
  • Jason Evigan – production (tracks 1–2, 7–8, 12)
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing (tracks 2–3, 5, 8, 10)
  • Jason Goldberg – mix assistant (track 12)
  • Louie Gomez – mix assistant (tracks 1, 7, 12)
  • John Hanes – engineered for mix (tracks 2–3, 5, 8, 10)
  • Billy Hickey – engineering (track 7)
  • Sam Holland – engineering (track 10)
  • Maximilian Jaeger – recording (track 7)
  • Nick Jonas – production (track 12)
  • Rico Love – production (track 5), recording (track 5)
  • Max Martin – production (track 10)
  • Tony Maserati – mixing (tracks 4, 9)
  • David Massey – executive production
  • Mattman & Robin – production (tracks 3, 5), programming (tracks 3, 5), recording (track 5)
  • Noah Passovoy – recording (track 3), engineering (track 5), recording (track 5)
  • Ali Payami – production (track 10), programming (track 10)
  • James Royo – engineering (tracks 1–2, 8, 12), mixing (tracks 7, 12)
  • Tyler Scott – assistant mix engineer (tracks 4, 9)
  • Shellback – production (track 10)
  • John Shullman – engineering (track 5), recording (track 5)
  • Sir Nolan – production (tracks 4, 6, 9, 11), recording (tracks 4, 6, 9, 11)
  • The Struts – recording (track 3)
  • Eric Weaver – engineering (track 10)

Design and management

  • Ian Allen – business affairs
  • Rob Cohen – legal counsel
  • Vol S. Davis III – business affairs
  • Lynn Gonzalez – business affairs
  • Elliot Groffman – legal counsel
  • Kyledidthis – art direction, design
  • Paul Lane – package production
  • Meredith Oliver – A&R administration
  • Liz Paw – legal counsel
  • Philymack – management
  • Gillian Russell – A&R administration
  • Zeke Silvera – A&R
  • Antoinette Trotman – business affairs
  • Yu Tsai – photography
  • Eric Wong – marketing
  • Billy Zarro – marketing

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Version Format Label Ref
Worldwide June 10, 2016
  • Standard
  • Deluxe
Island
[46][66][67][68][69]

References[edit]

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