Look, we're old. Not "old" old, but more like "the Olympics were so much better in Los Angeles" old. And definitely not "Beatlemania" old, but old enough to wonder if the Jonas Brothers phenomenon is anything like what we've heard about Beatlemania. We honestly don't know — before today we'd never listened to a Jonas Brothers song, we've never seen them perform, we don't even know which is which, only that the moppiest-headed one occasionally receives photos of Miley Cyrus eating her skivvies. But this week's seismic release of the new Jonas Brothers album A Little Bit Longer — and the ensuing tear-streaked, hair-gnawing tween bedlam (best evinced by the accompanying snapshot from the group's recent TRL appearance) — has us taking the Jonases' impact much more seriously. After all, today's young pop heroes are tomorrow's clinically wasted reality TV icons; on that basis alone their soaring stars deserve a closer look and deeper understanding — or at least a handy Defamer fact sheet for your water-cooler convenience. Everything you need to know is after the jump.I. KNOW YOUR JONASES
(Then there's "bonus Jonas" Frankie (a/k/a "Frank the Tank"), who, at 7 years old, is too young for non-Chosen Blob editorial consideration at Defamer.) Legend has it Nick was discovered singing at a New Jersey barbershop around the time of his last haircut at age 6. Broadway followed for him and Joe; Nick was signed to Columbia shortly thereafter, at which time they were conveniently bundled for their 2006 debut It's About Time. II. KNOW THEIR CANON
This week's A Little Bit Longer is the Jonas Brothers' third full-length album and their first to revive a discarded Spinal Tap title. Their preceding albums — It's About Time (2006) and The Jonas Brothers (2007) — each broke the Billboard Top 100, with the latter album peaking at #5. The new one is expected to debut at #1. The brothers have made their biggest impact in the cutthroat genre of Abbreviated Gerund Rock, with the hits "Burnin' Up" and "Pushin' Me Away" each receiving unprecedented download action at iTunes. Their film and TV work is equally impressive, with their guest-starring breakthrough in Cyrus's Best of Both Worlds concert film opening the door for their monumental musical Camp Rock — the soundtrack to which was another smash. The movies cemented them alongside Cyrus among the Disney Channel's most influential draws. (Nick and Miley's eventual romance was its own drama, but we'll get to that.) A Camp Rock sequel is forthcoming, as are a reality show and concert film based on their current, sold-out, hormonally corrosive concert tour. III. KNOW THEIR ACCOLADES The Jonases won six Teen Choice Awards in 2007, including "Choice Summer Song" for "Burnin' Up" and a three-way tie for "Choice Hottie." Critics are falling in line as well, with Rolling Stone offering A Little Bit Longer four stars and esteemed MySpace critic IHeartDjDanger persuasively adding:
"THE WHOLE CD IS AMAZING THOUGH!! after I listened to it, I was like "NOW I'M SPEECHLESS OVER THE EDGE I'M JUST BREATHELESS!" AHH, i ALSO LOVE sHELF!! oooh, and I love the second verse of can't have you sooooooooo much!!! it is so awesome when you repeat the lines all eachoey!!
IV. KNOW THEIR STYLE Upmarket, overproduced boy-pop cheese, with lots of collars, blazers, denim, ties, fruity scarves, hair products, pitchy vocals and derivative culture riffs, a potent mash perhaps best depicted in this excerpt of their video for "Burnin' Up": V. KNOW THEIR LOVE LIVES Love lives? What love lives? The super-wholesome Jonas Brothers, evangelical sons of an ex-pastor, wear purity rings and have vowed abstinence until marriage. Nevertheless, Nick is very publicly the poster child for Disney Channel incest, having had successive relationships with Cyrus and now (allegedly!) Selena Gomez. OMG they are so cuuuuute! Alas, Miley begs to differ. Meanwhile, Joe has been linked to country singer Taylor Swift, with one gossip blogger saying the two retreated to his hotel room last night for Joe's birthday. Ewww gross. Kevin is unofficially connected to slightly downmarket actress/model/vocalist Zoe Myers. You, too, can date a Jonas by following a few easy steps enumerated by the brothers this week in the estrogen maelstrom that was TRL: VI. KNOW THEIR EMPIRE The Jonases reportedly earned a measly $12 million in 2007 — a number certain to spike by the end of 2008 after another ongoing, sold-out tour. They recently closed on a $2.8 million mansion in a gated enclave outside Dallas, with each brother's wardrobe getting its own bedroom and where the boys are safer than ever from temptations such as girls, drugs and actual rock music. VII. KNOW YOUR FUN FACTS · Nick Jonas is a Type-1 diabetic. · Ali Lohan chose an East Hampton, N.Y., Jonas Bros. concert last weekend to unveil her fantastic new breasts. · Joe Jonas is literally known to prize his hair above all other worldly possessions. · Kevin Jonas's favorite food is sushi. · Nick claims to have written the brothers' hit "S.O.S." in 10 minutes. · At any given time, as many as 20 people at once are watching "Burnin' Up" on YouTube. · Their bodyguard Big Rob keeps a blog of his Jonas-protecting exploits and is the guest rapper heard on "Burnin' Up." Again, we're new to this, so please help us help you by filling in any noteworthy blanks below. The world needs to know.