Top Stories

'The Good Half' Review: Nick Jonas and Brittany Snow Are Heartbreaking and Heartwarming

'The Good Half' is a run of the mill grief dramedy with good jokes, a subpar romance plot, and great performances by Nick Jonas and Brittany Snow

Nick Jonas, Brittany Snow, David Arquette, Elisabeth Shue in The Good Half

via Tribea Film Festival

Nick Jonas is on a roll. He’s in the middle of The Jonas Brothers’ THE TOUR (think their version of Taylor’s Era tour, where they perform 5 of their albums in one night). He just appeared in Love Again as a secondary character alongside his wife, Priyanka Chopra. And now, he’s starring in The Good Half, an indie dramedy that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival on June 8th.

Keep ReadingShow less
Music Reviews

Jonas’s “Spaceman” Is Sanitized and Unsatisfying

The new Nick Jonas album is perfect ambient noise and not much else

Nick Jonas in "Spaceman"

The formula is simple: Leave your boyband; shave your head; release an evocative, sensual debut album.

For male teen stars looking to transform into commercial artists, breaking out of the tween-box means redefining their appeal for a more grown up audience. Justin Timberlake did it when leaving N'SYNC, Zayn Malik did it after his One Direction era, and Nick Jonas did it after leaving the Jonas Brothers to strike out on his own and release his eponymous album, Nick Jonas in 2015.

It's a tried-and-true formula that transformed Nick from the curly-haired drummer and secret weapon of the band to the clear star of the trio. His debut was preceded by the addictive singles "Jealous" and "Chains," which set a high bar that the album lived up to in spades. From the explosive leading tracks to the practiced seduction of tracks like "Close" and "Teacher" and the ungarnished emotion of "Santa Barbara" and "Push," Jonas showed off his maturity and range.

Since his debut, Nick Jonas has done everything from a stint on Broadway, pursuing his acting career, getting married, and even getting the band back together. But his most recent album, written mostly in quarantine, sees him venturing out on his own again, this time a Spaceman.

Keep ReadingShow less

Billy Gilman Turns "Soldier" On Its Head With Acoustic Rendition

A talented singer with the ability to reinvent himself.

Billy Gilman had an ear for crafting radio-friendly hits long before he was a stand out on The Voice.

His 2000 debut album, One Voice, was certified double platinum, and Gilman was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest singer to reach #1 on the Billboard Country chart. Now, at 28, he's reinvented himself as a crossover success, fusing pop melodies with his veteran country sensibilities. He's since been nominated for two Grammys, four ACM awards, and three CMA awards. He was additionally a stand-out talent on season 11 of The Voice, and almost clinched victory before being beaten by the equally-as-talented Sudance Head.

The second place finish didn't set him back at all. Gilman's new single, "Soldier," is a powerful arena-ready anthem, and is a drastic shift from his earlier sound. The track's acoustic version, which premieres exclusively on Popdust, turns the song into a slow-burning ballad. "I love creating big dramatic drum loops and commanding sounds to sound as strong as the lyrics," Gilman said of the song. "However, when you have the chance to sit back and just sing the words and let the message be heard, that is just as powerful." Check out the new song below, as well as Gilman's exclusive performance.

Follow Billy Gillman on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

The currency of musical success is controversy, a theory proven true over and over again by artists from Ariana Grande to Kesha.

A pop song or album paired with a highly public break up or story of familial redemption is a recipe for a smash hit, regardless of the actual quality of the music. Take Grande's "thank u, next," for example. It's an average-to-boring song with an excellent back story—Grande's split from Pete Davidson and the death of Mac Miller, her former boyfriend. People listened because of the same impulse that leads them to read tabloids: the desire to feel connected to a celebrity and a part of a cultural conversation.

Similarly—after spending much of the last year in the headlines because of their respective weddings and familial reconciliation—the Jonas Brothers could have released just about anything and people would have listened, simply to be a part of the comeback of a 2000's teen-pop staple. What the brothers did release, a 14 track LP called Happiness Begins, is a little bit better than the least they could do. It wouldn't be fair to say that their decade-long hiatus ruined the trio's sound, because they never had much of a distinctive sound to begin with. A Jonas Brother's song from 2006 to 2009 can be distinguished by whiny vocal runs, a dated boy band sound, and a distinctly Disney channel sweetness. Now, in their 2019 renaissance, those things remain true—minus the juvenile innocence. On Happiness Begins, one thing is made clear: The Jonas Brothers have cast aside their purity rings and they want listeners to know it. Their new songs are decidedly and intentionally steamy, focusing on the ins-and-outs of love (they're practically begging you to think about Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas on their wedding night). The songs are essentially adult versions of the 2008 hit "Burnin' Up," in content and form.

The lead single, "Sucker," remains far and away the best the album has to offer, with songs like "Used To Be" and "Rollercoaster" still managing to hold their own by depending less on synthy effects and more on harmony and storytelling. Throughout the 14 tracks, the brothers' virtually identical singing voices intermingle and glide over basic pop beats, occasionally incorporating seemingly random genre influences, like the marimba on "Only Human" that gives the track a jarring reggae sound. Otherwise, the production doesn't differ much from that of the songs released in the era when the Jo-Bro's donned untamed curls and fashion scarves to the delight of tween girls everywhere.

Happiness Begins is decidedly one thing: a brilliant ploy to ensure sold-out concerts. It's an album just similar enough to vintage Jonas Brothers music to be nostalgic and just different enough to entice a new generation. While listening, you can almost picture the stadium show: the brothers rising from the stage to frantic screams and a sentimental slideshow of childhood photos playing in the background as they harmonize and strut the stage to a ballad like "Hesitate."

Summarily, it's an unremarkable, safe collection of tracks obviously written by the churning machine of the music industry for use by the highest bidder. But that's all it needed to be. We culturally welcomed the Jonas Brothers back to the forefront of fame with open arms, and consequently, they could have force-fed us any version of their tepid boy band pop and we would have gulped it down eagerly. Perhaps listeners can be grateful that it's at least a solid, listenable album—albeit formulaic and unsurprising.

Happiness Begins


The Jonas Brothers' upcoming "Happiness Begins" tour is a nostalgic flash of early 2000s pop music, Disney Channel's golden age, and trendy purity rings that successfully marketed sex to tweens by constantly reminding them not to have sex.

Keep ReadingShow less

Nick Hissom Wants You To Twerk - But With Your Heart

The British pop prince of Miami breaks down modern pop music

Press Photo

Hissom has been making big waves since our last interview one year ago. With a new single featuring Zoey Dollaz and an album on the way, we had a lot to catch up on.

Keep ReadingShow less