Album of the Week: Backstreet Boys’ ‘DNA’


The Backstreet Boys have spent the final two years mining nostalgia with their hits-filled Larger Than Life Las Vegas residency. But the album they’ve been engaged on in that point – DNA, the group’s 10th LP – is proof that they haven’t fully been dwelling up to now.

As evidenced with the album’s lead single, the pounding “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” DNA stays true to BSB’s harmony-driven pop sound whereas evolving their manufacturing to suit right this moment’s radio panorama (and it labored so effectively, it earned the group their first Grammy nomination in 17 years and first Pop Songs hit in 11 years). That evolution carries all through the remainder of DNA’s 12 tracks, whereas additionally presenting Backstreet Boys’ most numerous set but, with hints of R&B, nation and funk.

DNA feels just like the Backstreet Boys’ most aware try to attraction to an viewers that’s broader than the '80s and '90s infants who’ve carried their boy band obsessions into the 2010s. Though DNA could not be so transportive that it'll make individuals overlook it's 2019 and never 1999, BSB have been clearly seeking to broaden their horizons — from recruiting more energizing cowriters (“Chances” was co-written by Shawn Mendes and Ryan Tedder; “Just Like U Like It” was co-written by Dustin Lynch and nation juggernaut Ross Copperman) to incorporating a brass part on the playful “Passionate." And it really works.

The selection in sound can also be a testomony to the Backstreet Boys’ development, displaying that they’re not afraid to push boundaries to search out their lane in right this moment’s pop sphere. For occasion, among the songs are paying homage to latest hits: “Nobody Else” might be a Martin Garrix collaboration with its whimsical manufacturing; the opening piano riff on “Is It Just Me” brings to thoughts The Chainsmokers’ “Closer”; and “No Place” is a heartfelt acoustic jam that would give Dan + Shay's "Speechless" some competitors on the nation charts.

Yet, the extra present sounds don’t overshadow the Backstreet Boys’ highly effective voices. They’re every given their very own time to shine on the album, and DNA consists of loads of these swoon-worthy harmonies that followers have liked for the reason that starting. There’s even a completely a cappella tune, “Breathe” – the perfect showcase of BSB’s vocal talents on DNA, and a reminder that they’ve nonetheless received the chops greater than 25 years later.

The guys can nonetheless carry the intercourse attraction too, significantly on the sultry “New Love” that’s pushed by an alluring bass line and equally deep (and really sensual) vocals. DNA has cheesy lyrics at instances (“Who are you? The intercourse police?” AJ quips on “New Love”), however that’s all a part of the boy band attraction that has made the Backstreet Boys so loveable over their decades-spanning profession.

Even if 2019 Backstreet Boys don't see successful as big as "I Want It That Way" or "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," it’s at all times been evident that they know their identification as a gaggle it doesn’t matter what yr it’s, and DNA declares that masterfully. The Backstreet Boys have turn out to be males – and aren’t going wherever anytime quickly.