Backstreet’s back, alright.
Legendary nineties boy band, The Backstreet Boys, just dropped their comeback album “DNA” on Friday, Jan. 25. This is the first album the band has released since their last album, “Unbreakable,” in 2007.
The boys strayed from their traditional pop sound in the past with their rock-leaning album “Never Gone” in 2005. “DNA” is a good example of the blending of the Boys’ traditional pop sound and a new sound they have yet to explore before.
However, while combining their old sound and current musical style works for some tracks, there are other parts of the album where they should have stayed with their traditional pop sound. Every track on their new album “DNA” has something specific about it that makes the album unique.
To be honest, I was not sure the Boys could pull off a comeback album 25 plus years after their debut but with some of their tracks. However, they definitely proved they deserve a spot in the current music scene.
In general, I think the album is worth listening to. Tracks 4-6 are a little rough, and at that point in the album, it made me feel like the mid-90s and early-2000s artists should have stayed in that era. They shouldn’t come back in 2019 trying to make music with a 2019 sound because they don’t know it. If they are notoriously known for 90s and 2000s pop, it can be difficult to find their place in the 2019 pop world. However, the first three songs and the latter half of the album are great. The tracks are true to traditional Backstreet Boys style, but they have current musical flavor.
One of my favorite songs is the first on the album, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” This song focuses on synth instrumentals but brings in the traditional Backstreet Boys five-part harmony. This song is truly a bop. Senior global studies major and journalism minor Michaela Steiner heard the song and said “and suddenly, the Backstreet Boys are relevant again.”
Another favorite was “Breathe.” This song has a more traditional Backstreet Boys sound, which I love. It’s acapella, more focused on the harmonies rather than the music and is rather Pentatonix-esque. It’s primarily driven by snaps and mild beatboxing. While the harmonies are traditional Backstreet Boys, the acapella was a refreshing change.
One of the songs I disliked the most was “New Love.” It starts with a heavy bass line, and the lyrics are raunchy from the start. From start to finish, it almost feels like watching a sex scene in a movie with your parents sitting on the couch next to you. The first verse says:
“Who are you, the sex police/My sex ain’t got no rules/Got a million options next to me, yeah/Let me do what I do.”
Another track I was not a fan of is “Passionate.” This song also starts with heavy bass. While the sound is so good on its own, the song as a whole reminds me of over 40-year-old men trying to be a boy band with a mid-90s sound. It sounds like the current Backstreet Boys trying to be the original Backstreet Boys, which doesn’t work for this particular song. Lyrically, it needs improvement; listening to this made me feel like I was being serenaded by a dad, and as a 22-year-old, that was not a pleasant feeling. When there were 45 seconds left in the song, I was wondering when it would be over.
“Chances,” already has a music video to go along with it and is such a cute song! It has a more raspy, haunting, calm feeling in comparison to the last few tracks on the album. This is definitely one of my favorite songs from “DNA.” It’s fun and spunky but the vibe is calming and romantic. The chorus says:
“What are the chances that we’d end up dancing?/Like two in a million, like once in a life/That I could have found you, put my arms around you/Like two in a million, like once in a life/What are the chances?”
“Chateau” is another one I thoroughly enjoyed. The melodies and harmonies are incredible and complement each other well. It shows me the Boys are still true to their sound. This song successfully combined their traditional sound, harmonies and lyrical style with some 2019 instrumental spin.
The last few tracks on the album are fun and spunky and give off a summer vibe that makes me want to drive by the beach with the windows down. Overall, I would definitely recommend this album. While we kind of lost focus in the middle, I think “DNA” is a successful comeback for the Backstreet Boys.