allpop Review of B&B
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"Black & Blue," the Backstreet Boys' new album, is first-rate pop ranking above the Spice Girls latest effort "Forever" and 98 Degrees' mediocre "Revelation". Cashing in on the uptempo craze littering pop radio, "Black & Blue" features plenty of danceable tracks ("Another Boyfriend", "The Call") all the while maintaining their heartthrob status with balmy ballads, ("How Did I Fall In Love With You").
If you're a Backstreet fan wondering whether or not you'll like the new record, wonder no longer - yes, you'll love it. Do you like pop music? Then you'll enjoy "Black & Blue".
Never liked Backstreet to begin with? Then the new album probably won't change your mind. Below is a quick Backstreet fact sheet to refresh your memory and a track-by-track description of the new songs.
Number of albums released by Backstreet - 4 (including "Black & Blue")
Past Backstreet Songs you can't shake - "Larger Than Life," "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," "I Want It That Way".
Latest single: "Shape Of My Heart"
Latest Promotional Stunt - Touring around the world in 100 hours to promote "Black & Blue"
Number of group members: 5, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, A.J. McLean
Nick - Cutie #1 (the young, blond, fun-loving one)
Brian - Cutie # 2 (the slightly older, married, super-sensitive one who loves his mom)
Wild boy member: A.J. (identified by cowboy hats, ever-changing hair colours and multiple tattoos)
Token loveable geek: Howie (everyone's friend, nobody's heartthrob)
The dark, brooding member: Kevin (long coats, bushy eyebrows, abundant facial hair, also married)
Black & Blue summary:
Overall - Great pop songs, melodious ballads and the occasional dud
Track by track:
"The Call" -- An up-beat, nastier-than-usual Backstreet Boys song about a guy who stays out too late while his girlfriend waits at home
A refreshing change of pace from the boys' usual harmless lyrics A very decent, energising pop song (great for mornings when you're having a lot of trouble waking up) "Shape Of My Heart" -- Catchy ballad featuring delightfully sappy lyrics and ear-pleasing harmonies
"Get Another Boyfriend" -- Choppy, up-tempo number with lots of heavy "Oops I Did It Again" type beats.
VERY similar to *Nsync's "It's Gonna Be Me" Very conducive to choreographed dance moves.
"Shining Star" -- Up-temp, repetitive, sappy-sweet song. Not the best song ever. In fact, it's pretty annoying.
"I Promise You (With Everything I Am)" -- An airy ballad that will probably be performed in concerts while the group sits on stools under simple spotlights and sings earnestly to lovelorn audience members.
"The Answer To Our Life" -- A Backstreet classic that could be found on any of the group's previous albums. It's not fast, it's not slow, it's just good-old Backstreet pop.
Very addictive chorus Has the staying power of "I Want It That Way"
"Everyone" -- An up-tempo shout-out to loyal Backstreet Boys fans who will be thrilled to be mentioned on "Black & Blue". -- "You were there from the start, we know who you are and this one goes out to everyone...we're standing strong cause of what you've done. This one goes out to you."
"More Than That" - Another sappy ballad that's not a whole lot different from "I Promise You (With Everything I Am)." Don't feel guilty about skipping over this song
"Time" - Yet another ballad. This one is okay., although far from fantastic or up to the standards of "Shape of My Heart". If it's ballads you crave, go for "I Promise You" or "Shape".
"Not For Me" -- "That I'm leavin' you behind! Bye, Bye...." oops sorry, that's *Nsync's "Bye,Bye,Bye". But, if you liked that song, you'll love "Not For Me".
"Yes I Will" - Oh, quelle surprise, another ballad! But this one is kind of sweet. If you dream about the boys saying things like: "Yes, I will, give you everything you need and someday start a fami-ly" to you after they spot you at one of their shows, then you'll swoon over this one.
"It's True" -- A sweet, swoopy, heartfelt ballad that will be dedicated to scorned boyfriends and girlfriends on soft rock radio for years to come. Preview: "It's true, without you, I would fall apart."
"How Did I Fall In Love With You" -- A soft, non-threatening love song that will bring forth tears when it's played as the last waltz at your prom.
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