Backstreet Boys: ‘This Is Us’

Paul Dohmen | Cadenza Reporter

Songs to download: “Straight Through My Heart,” “Bye Bye Love,” “All Of Your Life (You Need Love)”
For fans of: New Kids On The Blog, Darin, N*Sync
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

On my first listen through the Backstreet Boys’ new CD “This is Us,” I was both very excited and very disappointed. I have been a big BSB fan ever since I was 8 years old. I have all of their CDs on my computer, and, when my suitemates are not around, I have been known to rock out to some of their classics (especially “I Want It That Way”). I really enjoyed all of their old stuff. They knew how to perform a song or two that would get stuck in your head.

But “This Is Us” has a mix of both the lovable pop from BSB and a new R&B influence that does not sit well. R&B suits artists like Beyoncé and Rihanna, but the Backstreet Boys are renowned for pop. So, why change a working formula? They had something going for them (as in millions of teenage girls and myself). The genre switch is in order to sell more CDs, as most of today’s hit singles are R&B. However, I am sorry, they cannot do R&B.

(MCT Campus)

(MCT Campus)

The CD begins with their first single, “Straight Through My Heart.” This song is so impressive that it’s on par with some of the BSB’s other pop singles. The next four tracks thankfully all follow the same old pop influence. “All of Your Life (You Need Love)” mixes pop with R&B, but to a pleasing effect. Present is the ever-insistent beat of the drum that characterizes older BSB songs, along with the sound of Nick Carter’s voice at the beginning of the track that will make any tween girl get excited (Heck, even I get excited—just don’t tell my friends). But things begin to go wrong with the title track, the first of their R&B songs. And, except for a decent remix of “Straight Through My Heart,” the rest of the songs on the CD follow suit. BSB’s R&B songs have the feel of an R&B song, but fall flat, as if they really didn’t care about performing the songs. The only song that they put feeling into is “Masquerade.” I surprisingly found my toe tapping while listening to this song.

Overall, the quality of the CD was not impressive. BSB can still sing well; they shouldn’t have switched their style. This might get them more new fans, but they are letting down fans who have listened to them since middle school. BSB fans should check out the first five tracks and “Masquerade” and then throw away the CD, which should be named “This Is Not Us.”

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