The Backstreet Boys make an effort to turn back time at least in the style of their music. Their most recent two albums took a more adult approach and failed to generate any major hit singles. Now the group is returning to work with Max Martin, architect of the group's biggest hits in the past, and stick close to pop, R&B and dance grooves. The result is mostly pleasing and is likely to make long-term fans of the group very happy.
RedOne Brings Dance Pop Sensibility
For the first time, the Backstreet Boys have worked on this album with hot dance-pop producer RedOne. He produced two songs here including the lead single "Straight Through My Heart." Both songs have a contemporary dance-pop sensibility but the vocal harmonies take the whole package back to the Backstreet Boys' peak 10 years ago. "All of Your Life (You Need Love)" boosts the tempo a bit and will be a great tune for the group to perform live in their energetic stage show.
Some of the World's Top Vocal Harmonies
The primary gift of the Backstreet Boys through their entire career is peerless vocals and harmonies. None of that has changed here. The group demonstrates they know their way around soulful vocal arrangements on "Bye Bye Love" which would fit comfortably on a Ne-Yo album. The Max Martin song "Bigger" has moments when the group heads into the chorus that its obvious this is still the group that recorded the masterful "I Want It That Way."
Top Tracks on 'This Is Us'
- "Straight Through My Heart"
- "Bye Bye Love"
- "This Is Us"
Solid Return to Form for the Backstreet Boys
There are a few moments on This Is Us that may raise eyebrows. Men that are the age of the Backstreet Boys singing about "shorty" on "She's a Dream," produced by T-Pain, seem to be stretching to appear about a decade younger. However, the album as a whole is solid. Those who have loved the music of the Backstreet Boys in past will not be disappointed here. The group not only own the title of bestselling boy band of all time, but they also can lay claim to being one of the longest lasting as well. It's difficult to imagine this scaling the heights of success the group had in the past, but it's easy to see it as a quite pleasing musical love letter to their solid core of fans, and, at this point, that is quite enough.