25 January 2019 (released)
04 February 2019
Backstreet Boys’ tenth studio album ‘DNA’ was released last month, and with the US five-piece male vocal group having already shifted a staggering one-hundred million units to date, they are, officially, the best-selling boy-band of all time.
The opening to this twelve-track body of work ’Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ – released as an album teaser last May, and track two, ‘Nobody Else’, were hard work, if I’m honest; feeling somewhat turgid and over-produced. It’s maybe appropriate that the album’s third track is called ‘Breathe’, it really comes as a breath of fresh air; and relax!
DNA is an album of variety; there’s light and shade, and calm tranquillity that contrasts with energy. It’s early days, but perhaps it’s ‘Passionate’ that, maybe, is looking like the album’s stand-out track for me. Whilst maintaining that synth-pop theme there’s a Latino-funk about this tune that hits the ‘head-noddin-pop-tastic-g-spot’, it’s fun, I like it – who wouldn’t?
There are tunes that have the feeling of ‘album tracks’, like ‘New Love’ and ‘Is It Just Me’, but then maybe, these might be the ones to grow, given some time and the right emotional connection. Who knows? Not for me though, nice enough background tracks, I guess.
The second half of this album gets going with ‘Chances’, a power-pop-ballad that was released as a single before Christmas and charted in Germany and Switzerland, though was less commercially successful in the UK, and despite it containing the lyrics ‘…what’s a girl like you, doing in a place like this…” I like it! No, in fact, I love it. I love it and all the drama it brings with it; it would give any Eurovision winner a run for its money, and trust me, that’s not something I say lightly!
‘No Place’, is feel-good, think ‘Lighthouse Family’, a happy, smiling, Backstreet love song, that takes its place at track number eight, and, as someone who’s always been partial to dulcet tones of Tunde Baiyewu I mean that in the nicest possible way.
The penultimate track is ‘Just Like You Like It’, which is what I imagine a Busted-Backstreet collaboration would sound like. I like Busted – for those that don’t so much, you might keep it moving onto ‘Ok’, the twelfth and final track, and, I’m really okay with ‘Ok’, it’s a clean and simple quality to it that has playability; an upbeat acoustic arrangement that’s almost cheeky, an appropriate note to finish on.
Currently residents of the Zappos Theatre at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, BSB will be touring with their latest material across Europe this summer. Starting in Lisbon and finishing in Budapest, with dates at Manchester, Birmingham and London in between. How much of this album will make their final set list will possibly be as much to do with their twenty-five-year back catalogue, as it is with how ‘stadium-ready’ this album is.