By Zach Hester (Photo by Getty)
When social media stars from Vine or YouTube turn to music, it usually doesn’t turn out well. However, Jack & Jack, the former Vine duo comprised of Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky, do have genuine musical talent. On Friday, the pair, who have been friends since their first day of kindergarten, released their debut album, A Good Friend Is Nice.
After first hearing the duo’s song Beg in 2017, I had fairly high hopes for the pop record that was destined to come from them. As a whole, A Good Friend Is Nice is a collection of mostly bland pop songs that will be able to stand on their own with plenty of Top 40 radio potential, but lack the power to stand out amongst a crowd when so much good music is hitting airwaves right now.
While songs like “Lotta Love” and “Rise” are catchy, they don’t add too much to the conversation when people wonder why pop music still matters in our day and age. The synthetic beats set to these songs just feel like they’re falling flat against the lyrics. Each song feels like it’s just a continuation of the last one. This blending flow on the album doesn’t work at all for me.
I’ve rattled against the basicness of modern radio pop music in the past and albums like this are the reason why. I just feel pretty disappointed by the results of this album. Maybe it’s just because I’m not Jack & Jack’s core audience, but that shouldn’t matter. One or two of these songs is catchy, but sadly, this entry into the pop music zeitgeist is just…forgettable.
Best Songs: Lotta Love, Rise