Backstreet Boys are back again

By Gus Bode

Backstreet Boys


Release date: Oct. 30, 2007


Record Label: Jive Records

Caution: listening to this album may result in flashbacks to junior high and the era of boy bands, bright pop and backup dancers.

The Backstreet Boys – or, more appropriately, men, as most of the members are in their 30s – are back with their sixth album, “Unbreakable.”

The Boys have grown up since their first two albums – “Backstreet Boys” and “Backstreet’s Back” – but have managed to retain the same great blend of harmonies fans love them for, even with one fewer member – Kevin Richardson is no longer part of the group.

“Unbreakable” is less like their pop-dance hits from the mid-’90s and more like 2005’s “Never Gone” album, featuring two song styles: slow piano ballads and pop-electronic dance tunes.

The single released from this latest album, “Inconsolable,” sounds incredibly similar to “Incomplete” and “Drowning” from the Boys’ previous records.


“Inconsolable” tells of lost love, nothing new for the boy band. “I wish that I could find the words to say, baby I would tell you every time you leave, I’m inconsolable.”

Conversely, “Treat Me Right” has a dance-beat sound that’s difficult to categorize into a specific genre, and “Panic” features a simple, repetitive electronic beat that gets old after 30 seconds.

The tenth track of the 16-track album, “Trouble Is,” has an almost country-sounding twang to it, which leads one to wonder if the Boys are attempting to represent every genre on this album.

It seems as though the boy band is struggling to find a target audience and to produce age-appropriate music. As they grow older, they need to remember their audience is aging, too.

Audra Ord can be reached at 618-536-3311 ext. 275 or [email protected].