Sunday 11 Dec 2016

In a World Like This
Jane Doe

It is amazing to see how this boy band grew up and touched skies. Backstreet Boys (BSB) is a bit long in the tooth for a vocal harmony group. Throughout their career, BSB band members had been facing many management issues, members parting, and change of the trends. They stopped dancing, tried solo and did several other experimentations, but even after twenty years into existence, this quintet is still flawless and stronger. They are striving to be the most innovative and musically perfect endeavors in order to satisfy their loyal fans all over the world. Now as a part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, the band has set them free and self-releasing their new album “In a World like This,” which is their first one with Kevin Richardson since the 2005’s release, “Never Gone.”

“In a World like This” is an attestation to how Backstreet Boys can act their age, like the Madeleine and the stadium-sized encouragement like “Show ‘Em; what you’re made of.” As it is the case with the last few releases, this record also brisk up the band’s soulful music with modern technical touches and references points. In “a World like This” is enriched, with many familiar elements of the adult contemporary style, such as lightweight keyboard coupled with club-ready tempos and the digital beats.

Yet, some of the BSB fans think that these contemporary elements do not fit well to the Backstreet Boys strengths and that the harmonies and melodies of this record are disappointingly generic. On the other hand, it is also worth considering it had won the hearts of those who enjoy the Permanent Stain as well as the piano-aided digital beats in “One Phone Call.”

With this album, the musical persona of BSB seems a bit whitewashed. Most of the “In A World Like This album songs are having identity clash with the ones in One Republic, The Script, or The Wanted. Among these, the “Feels Like Home” which is relishing ode to the Southern living, the touring life as well as the global-partying hotspots comes close to the flat side of the usual pop-country crossover.

Lyrics do play a part in offering an overall soothing effect, but with a few glitches here and there. The electro-pop tune of “Love Somebody” is a commendable one amongst the tracks, which consists of the matchless couplets like “You’re the reason that caveman drew on the wall / the reason why after every summer we fall” which is supposed to dance on the lips of BSB fans for long.

It is evident that with the commendable effort in ‘In A World Like This’, BSB is winking straight at their closet of fans by fully understanding that they need to face an audience who can never imagine this group to be full-flown adults. They have in fact grown up, but are refusing to deny, completely, their past and the most eligible boy-ship. Asking the fans to wait for more from the backburner, it is aptly the Backstreet’s Back, Alright.

Jane Doe writes from the American South East.

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