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Backstreet Boys Go Back To Basics On ‘DNA’

The Backstreet Boys have finally released their album “DNA”, which has to be their best record in years. Songs like “Breathe” and the Shawn Mendes-co-written single, “Chances”, doesn’t sound like anything they’ve released since their 2000 release “Black & Blue”, proving they still know their way around a pop song. BSB this time around enlisted the help of some top notch producers, Kuk Harrell, one of the music industry’s most sought-after vocal producers, and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder sharing co-production credits, and the American band has never sounded better.

I was a bit worried after the guys dropped the first single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. For myself it sounded if they were going in a completely different direction to their usual pop sound, but this single still manage to accomplish some great feats on the charts. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” earned it’s self a Grammy nomination, which set up “DNA” for a great momentum builder. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” debuted on May 17, 2018, and in its first week ranked 22nd in digital sales. The song was deemed by many in the media as a comeback song for the band as it represented their first time charting on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Top 40, and Adult Contemporary charts since “Inconsolable”. It was also their highest charting single on the Adult Top 40 with a peak of number 9, surpassing the number 11 peak of “I Want It That Way” in 1999. In regards to airplay the song reached number 38 on the Radio Songs chart, the band’s first time on that chart since “Incomplete”.

When “Chances” was released back on November 8th, 2018 I thought finally the Backstreetboys have released a song that sounds similar to their record breaking 1999 album “Millennium”. “Chances,” co-written by Shawn Mendes and Ryan Tedder, deliver thunderous intensity on the production adding a sense of drama that wasn’t in the classic Backstreet Boys sound.

To bring in the new year the Backstreet Boys released the third single from “DNA” called “No Place”. The video and the single describe the bands love for their families. Kevin Richardson told USA TODAY, “That’s a song that we were inspired by our families and children to make. … I’ve been all around the world, done all there is to do, but there’s no place like home.”

We get to see video footage video footage of each member’s wife and kids. Richardson dances with his wife on a sunny hike. Nick Carter goes swimming with his baby boy. Brian Litrell plays basketball with his mini-me. Howie Dorough watches his kids on the swing set. And A.J. McLean does ballet with his pink-clad daughters, one of whom demands “Again. Again,” after he asks whether she likes the song “No Place.”

My favourite song on the album has to be “Is It Just Me”. Written and produced by Ian Kirkpatrick and “Xplicit”, the single combines both a energetic pop instrumental with a touch of urban influences. The great thing about “DNA” is that not only has the groups sound evolved, they don’t overshadow the Backstreet Boys’ powerful voices. They’re each given their own time to shine on the album. Backstreet Boys probably will never produce a huge hit like “I Want It That Way” or “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” but at least over the years they haven’t lost their identity.

Rating: ★★★★☆

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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