Oh no. This is a shame.
Honesty is important. I love the Backstreet Boys. Maybe I don’t say it enough. I have nothing but sincere, deep-down true love for these five duders. They’ve all got handsome faces and nice voices that leap right out of their hearts and into ours. And they’ve sang so many songs that are good. Great, even. They’re an American pop institution, if you ask me. I mean it. I really do.
And 1999 was such a primo year for them. Oh, how proud I was. Millenium. “I Want It That Way.” Diamond album sales. Best selling record of the year. Huge tour. Most expensive music videos ever produced. Howie visits Lake Compounce for the first time. The biggest boy band to ever exist touring behind the archetypal boy band record. Band happy. Record label happy. Fans happy. Me happy. A big, beautiful, fuckable year as far as the Backstreets were concerned.
And so it continued into the new millennium (pun intended!!). By mid-2000, the Nick Carter Corral was riding higher than the highest high balloon. Millennium was still notching hits, with “The One” ripping TRL to shreds. Teen pop was a big as it would ever get. AJ wasn’t in rehab yet. Y2K didn’t destroy the world. Spritis were high.
But there had to be a follow-up. Of course there had to be! Gotta keep those young fans happy! Gotta keep ’em gyrating awkwardly at middle school dances! High expectations!
And there was no way the Backstreets could upset their fans. Of course not! America’s youth loved them so. Just summore sweet “I Want It That Way”-esque ballads, fellahs. That’s all you need! Maybe another dance-rocker like “Larger Than Life” and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”? Sure. You guys can punch out groovers like those in your sleep. In a five-man coma. Please. Get Max Martin back in there, he knows what he’s doing. He’s your friend. Have Nick flip his hair back and push his whiny vocals to the forefront. Have Brian sing about God and his mom. Have AJ shake his finger at the camera in a music video while tantalizingly unbuttoning his blazer. Have Kevin grow out his mustache and sulk like a brooding angstghoul. Have Howie wash the dishes. You guys know the drill!
It should have all been so simple. It would have been. But then, there was *NSYNC.