Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Musings From the Back 9: 90's Disposable Pop Edition Part 2

In a story I broke yesterday, 90’s disposable pop is back. We learned that with the Britney Spears Blackout (see Part 1), she should have stayed in the 90’s. Today it is the kings of disposable pop, the Backstreet Boys, attempt to be relevant almost a decade after their heyday. And while we are talking disposable 90’s pop, a happy birthday today to Rob van Winkle himself, Vanilla Ice. On a completely unrelated note, a melancholy happy trails to Robert Goulet.

Unbreakable - Backstreet Boys

The new Backstreet Boys album Unbreakable is notable as it is the first from the group as a quartet. One can assume the fifth one is too busy hosting Don’t Forget the Lyrics or something to be bothered with recording. But it is not like the group is Boyz II Men who are losing a tenor; the Backstreet Boys all basically just sing the melody anyways except when the weird one does some vocal gymnastics at the end of the song.

Unlike Britney Spears who thinks she could still make relevant dance music despite girls out there today with better voices, bodies, and ten years less mileage, the Backstreet Boys are trying to age gracefully. Yeah there are a few dance tracks like the first track (after the acapella opening) Everything but Mine but the bulk of the album fall much more into the adult contemporary category with the group acting like a five four-headed Richard Marx. I would venture to say there is more piano on this album than their previous ones combines. Yeah there is nothing karaoke worthy here as I Want it That Way, but then again there really are not that many other songs that are besides Glory Days, When Doves Cry, and Endless Love.

With that said, Unbreakable is extremely boring. We are talking the album could stop for no reason and you may not even notice for an hour that it did boring. And cheesy metaphors like, “I’m a house of cards in a hurricane” (Helpless When She Smiles) and the most over used line in songwriting history, “How come you never know what you got until it’s gone?” (Trouble Is) are not helping things. But the most inexplicable part of the album was Treat Me Right, which happens to be the worst song on the album was co-written by N’Syncer JC Chasez. What’s next, a member of Kris Kross helping out on the next Another Bad Creation album? Prince helping Michael Jackson write a song for him? Are there any religious scholars out there that can tell us if this is a sign of the apocalypse?

Song to Download - You Can Let Go

Unbreakable gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.


  1. "the Backstreet Boys, attempt to be relevant almost a decade after their heyday"

    Or maybe they are just doing what they enjoy? (-_-)

  2. Yeah that is possible, but when you spend top dollar for songwriters and producers, I have a feeling that they are hoping to stay relevant.

  3. Don't know for sure, but I think they did a lot of the writing themselves--they write a lot of the own stuff.

  4. By my count it was five of fourteen on this disk, not exactly what I would call a lot, but I would venture to say that was more than previous albums.

  5. yeah, just found the track listing with writers. You're right on the number.