Jack Lawless, from left, Cole Whittle, JinJoo Lee, and Joe Jonas of DNCE accept the award for best new artist at the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes / Invision / AP)
DNCE, “DNCE” (Republic Records)
Goofy mistakes seem to be part of the dance-rock group DNCE led by Joe Jonas. It got its name after a member misspelled “dance” in a text and its biggest single to date was inspired by a mangled translation for sex on the beach.
But there’s hardly a foot put wrong on DNCE’s excellent full-length, self-titled debut _ a bouncy collection of disco-funk that reaches into the past for inspiration and serves it up in a California-cool groove.
Honestly, DNCE could have just released a few remixes of its monster hit “Cake by the Ocean” and gotten away with it. The fact that it took its time with 13 other solid tracks _ and missed a summer release _ speaks volumes about the band’s professionalism.
DNCE, which also includes bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle, guitarist JinJoo Lee and drummer Jack Lawless, makes its intention clear in the opening cut, “DNCE,” an infectious blast of Kool and the Gang vibes. “Don’t fight the feeling,” Jonas sings and it’s hopeless to resist.
The album also has the cute, finger-snapping “Toothbrush,” the Bee Gees-meet-techno tune “Naked” and the Justin Timberlake-ish “Body Moves.” DNCE shows it’s not all non-stop `70s dance with two rather beautiful slow tunes, “Almost” and “Truthfully.”
Jonas, who co-wrote all the songs, employs his falsettos nicely and the band’s quirky sense of humor is welcomed, especially on the naughty “Be Mean” (complete with cracking whip sound) and when Jonas sings “Advil/The good pill” on the hungover anthem “Good Day.”
They’re clearly having fun _ and so will you. Just try to resist the urge to dnce.