The Bottom Line
15 years into their career as a group, the Backstreet Boys return with the lead single from their seventh album This Is Us. The song is a midtempop pop-dance tune drenched in the group's trademark vocal harmonies. Producer RedOne contributes his synth textures but wisely takes a back seat to the singing which makes the group remain as one of the top boy bands of all time.
Listen to "Straight Through My Heart"
- Shimmering vocal harmonies
- Lyrics of love and drama
- Breezy dance pop feel
- The synth sounds are a bit too familiar
- Lacking in unique touches
- Written by AJ Junior, Kinnda Hamid, Bilal Hajji, and Novel Jannusi
- Produced by RedOne
- Released August 2009 by Jive Records
Guide Review - Backstreet Boys - "Straight Through My Heart"
RedOne has taken off this year as the hottest of pop music producers with major hit singles from Lady GaGa, Sean Kingston and Little Boots in the UK. His stomping style of dancefloor synths has become so ubiquitous that there are now complaints of all of his production efforts sounding the same. Here with the Backstreet Boys he lets the synths fade a bit into the background while the group is put front and center. No one does vocal harmonies like this better or makes it sound so effortless.
Lyrically "Straight Through My Heart" is another song of love gone bad but with the added directness of bullet and blood imagery. It's just enough to keep attention and prevent the slick, smooth sound from skating by without leaving an impact.
The biggest question with the release of "Straight Through My Heart" is whether or not the single can reverse the Backstreet Boys' commercial fortune. Their most recent album Unbreakable failed to generate a significant hit single and the group has not been to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in nine years. RedOne is certainly the producer of the moment that knows how to generate a pop hit, but this effort may not be enough.