Yes, it's been two long years since Unbreakable, the first Backstreet Boys album since Kevin Richardson's departure. (Of course it felt like way more.) I tried to pass this off–we got two copies today, the same date as the album's in-store release–on our clubs editor Grace Le and editorial assistant Jessica Ford, both younger than me and female, so presumably bigger BSB fans than myself. They did not seem all that psyched about it. After they left, I sneaked around their desks to snag back the copy. It was shameful.
The biggest question, of course, is what exactly does a Backstreet Boys album released in the year 2009 sound like? How is it possible that such a thing can even exist? It's ridiculously anachronistic, like if new episodes of Melrose Place were being produced today. (Oh.)
Turns out, it sounds a lot like old Backstreet Boys. As if they've been trapped in amber, like Jurassic Park mosquitos. The sound is really no more modern than it was 10 years ago, full of generic, dance-y songs like first single “Straight Through My Heart.” That really doesn't cut the mustard in these post-Lady Gaga days.
There's a song called “Bye Bye Love,” but it isn't a cover of the classic Everly Brothers tune. It's something…else. The highlight is probably “PDA,” for lyrics like this: “kissing and touching you with my hands all over your booty.” The youngest Backstreet Boy is 29. Feels important to mention.