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Album Review

Backstreet Boys – DNA

Backstreet Boys – DNA

By: Sydney Davis

Something about the idea of bands reuniting just brings excitement. You never know what’s in store: more hits or just hearing the old ones again. Fun Fact: My first time actually hearing about the Backstreet Boys was when I was a little kid because they were featured in the kids TV show and book series, Arthur. I have the whole collection of Arthur books and reruns aired pretty regularly, so I saw the band and read about them in “It’s Only Rock and Roll”. They were pretty good on there. Even though the Backstreet Boys talked about releasing an album, I don’t believe anyone really expected them to make new music for it. On May 17, 2018 the group released their first single for the album, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, which was seen as their comeback single since the song actually charted on the Billboard Hot 100. On November 9, 2018 the Boys announced the title and release date of their album DNA.

Their album has twelve brand new tracks to perform on their world tour that began in January and continues through September. They still show off some of their raw vocals which they always have taken much pride in. Most of their songs have a current pop sound like the songs “Nobody Else”, “Is It Just Me”, and “OK”. While in songs like “Breathe”, “New Love”, “Passionate”, and “The Way It Was” you can hear some of their 90s harmony style sound mixed with their new sound. They are all decent songs, but not spectacular enough to really stand out by a first listen. This is an album where you have to sit and listen to it a few times to really get a feel for the songs.

They really played it safe on this album, and I feel they could have stepped out of their comfort zone a little more. To me they only tried to match today’s sound to be relevant, which is progress for being gone for some years, but they are missing natural hits that just capture their audience’s attention right away. Most of the songs are things you’ll listen to while shopping in a store, or if it comes on the radio randomly you won’t change it, and maybe dance to it a little. I think they really aimed at having songs straight for radio play for better marketing. With these 2019 sounds, they do hit a new younger audience that may come see them on their DNA tour, but their old fans may not like them as hardcore anymore because it’s not their normal sound. I am all for artists changing their musical style and evolving to stay relevant, but it has to be done where you can still recognize who the artist is.

This is not a recognizable album, so if it’s just playing most likely no one will know it’s the Backstreet Boys. They just sound like a random boy band trying to be hot, but they are so much more and actually have real vocal talent of harmonizing and that did not show its full potential on this album. On their tour when the younger audience sees them, the songs may make it feel like the Boys are just some 40-year-old dads (almost all of the members are one or the other or both) trying to be hip, and that’s not a fun time at all. Hopefully this album is just a bridge leading to a better one with a more distinct sound.

Rating: 6/10

Favorite Track: “New Love”

James Kallianis

March 5th, 2019

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