The Backstreet Boys only go and do it again, release another hit album and this time without the meddling of their previous label. To be perfectly honest, they are better off without that label who dictated what they could and could not release, this time they are free to spread their wings and they have done just that.
This album is perfect from beginning to finish and the boys have many an opportunity to showcase why they are still the best selling boyband of all time and still mean business after 20 years in the industry. This album shows growth, highlights how much they have matured over the years and why their fan base is so loyal. These guys have stood the test of time and will be around for many more years, especially as they seem to thoroughly enjoy what they are doing.
Obviously I love the album as a whole, but if I was going to pick favourites I would opt for Madeleine (which was penned for a fan who took her life due to bullying, a very touchy subject and obviously strikes a chord with a lot of people), Show 'Em (What You're Made Of), Make Believe and One Phone Call.
This album is honest, beautiful and full of incredible harmonies and although nothing would ever top Millennium, this comes pretty close to being the perfect Backstreet Boys album, so spoil yourself and invest in something pretty amazing. You will not be disappointed!
I've been a fan of the Backstreet Boys ever since i can remember. I used to love their edgy '90s boyband pop such as "Get Down", and always admired their amazing ability with vocal harmonies on tracks such as "All i Have to Give". Over the years, their evolution from boyband to man band has been one tough, rollercoaster ride - but as much as those might seem, 'Unbreakable' and 'This is Us' for me where two fantastic albums, seeing the band heading in a fantastic direction, allowing a physical and vocal evolution in both dimensions. The rawness of 'Inconsolable' to the thumping club beats of 'Straight Through My Heart'. But for me, this album is very hit and miss. After hearing the fantastic promotional track 'Permanent Stain' and then the stunningly-amazing lead single 'In a World Like This', i honestly thought this would be the band's best album ever. But i was wrong.
While productions from relatively new producer Morgan Taylor Reid and long-time collaborator Dan Muckala shine on the album, as well as the Max Martin masterpiece 'In a World Like This', the bulk recorded with Martin Terefe - "Breathe", "Madeline", "Try" and "Trust Me" is simply not entertaining. There's nothing that makes the songs shine in any way shape or form, they are simply bland and forgettable. And whilst he may have helped many other artists find international fame, that sadly won't be the case in helping the Backstreet Boys' comeback. And lone-stander "Love Somebody", produced by Justin Trugman doesn't do anything either, with not enough of a hook to keep the listener interested until right near the end.
I once again have to praise Morgan Taylor Reid and Dan Muckala for their work on the album. 'Show Em (What You're Made Of)' is a dark, twisted piece of beauty, intertwinning ballad-esque qualities within hauntingly memorable verses, surrounded by a thumping chorus. 'One Phone Call' is the undiscovered pop cousin of Maroon 5's "Payphone", swinging more towards the well known vocal-harmony side of the group that everyone knows and loves. "Make Believe" and "Feels Like Home" bring the band further into the 21st century with the use of dance-heavy instrumentals accompanied by cleverly layered vocals. Once of which should definitely be a single, to allow the world to see a different side to the boys. "Soldier" is a stadium anthem. It flows powerfully from verse to verse with the subtle undertones allowing for a perfect finish.
For me, only just over half the album is pleasing to the ears - the rest is simply here nor there. However, as a long-time fan i decided to buy the Japanese edition of the album with bonus track 'Light On' - and in my opinion it's the best track of the entire set - and we British fans don't even get to hear it! 'Light On' sees all of the band taking an equal vocal role to create a sound somewhere between Backstreet, NKOTB and The Wanted - which turns out to be superb. This should have easily been the lead single, it would be a chart smash worldwide.
So that sums it up. I would highly reccomend listening tentatively, because for me this album didn't hit all the sweet spots that Backstreet usually manage to hit. And then to top it all, the best track isn't even on the British release.
I have waited seven years for a new BSB album and this one has been well worth the long wait. Every single song is a breath of fresh air with beautiful melodies and strong vocals. Backstreet is most definitely back - at last!!!
THIS CD IS BRILLIANT - IT'S NOT AS GOOD AS THE ' THIS IS US ' CD BUT IT SOUNDED GREAT ON MY FIRST LISTEN. KEVIN RICHARDSON IS BACK WITH THE BOYS AFTER HIS ABSENCE FROM THIS IS US. A TOTALY GREAT CD NOTHING MUCH ELSE TO SAY . BUY AND ENJOY
I have to agree with another reviewer who mentioned that a few songs were a bit 'here or there'. I feel the same. When it's good - it's good, but when it's not so good - I find myself skipping the tracks sadly.
Title track In A World Like This and Permanent Stain which follows are great starters, I find myself randomly singing them with their catchy beats and all. Breathe and Madeleine are usually skipped, not that I do not appreciate the reasons behinnd Madeleine, I just feel they could have got a better song for the situation and made it a stand out. Breathe is OK, but there's just something missing... Show Em (What You're Made Of) i like, same goes for Make Believe which was a grower if I'm honest (give it a chance!). Try and Trust Me I usually skip, but Try is worth a listen for the vocal abilities and the classic BSB harmonies and acapella are present throughout. Love Somebody is another good one, but I'm not sure why... With a strange - almost dubstep - section and typical lyrics listing why you love someone... It may be the chorus' innate ability to induce a singalong, I don't know! Onto my favourite, One Phone Call, almost anthemic (like later track Soldier), it's typical Backstreet Boys along the lines of Shape Of My Heart and Show Me The Meaning and will strike a chord with long standing fans. Feels Like Home is a strange one for me. At times I'll listen, but others I skip. This is this album's thanks to the fans songs that they often include but don't release, this one is a bit of a shout out to almost the whole world! I have to be in the mood to hear it. I can't really say much more on this one! Soldier is a lovely ending to the album. Rousing chorus and catchy exterior, another winner!
4 stars for the tracks that don't stand up, but the songs I do like, I do really love so it's on repeat for now!