Picks and Pans Review: Millennium
Backstreet Boys (Jive)
With its sticky sweet sentiments and assembly line songwriting, much of this album sounds like an updated, techno-kissed copy of a New Kids on the Block CD from 10 years ago. But there is one thing separating the Boys from the Kids: These lads can sing (whereas the more vocally challenged New Kids rarely spotlighted single voices and relied on group sing-alongs to hide the limitations of individuals). Like other success-by-the-numbers groups, neither Kevin Richardson, 27, Howard Dorough, 25, Alexander James McLean, 21, Brian Littrell, 24, nor Nick Carter, 19, play instruments on their album. But the Boys do possess distinctive voices, and here, as in their concerts, they are adept at vocal interplay, creating harmonic magic as those voices soar and intertwine. They could make a Sears catalog sound sweet.
Problem is, that's pretty much what they do in this schmaltzy collection of yearning ballads and formulaic dance numbers. No matter the tempo, the Boys eagerly vent their feelings of undying love, whether it's for a distant girlfriend, their many fans ("Yeah, every time we're down/ You can make it right," they croon in "Larger Than Life") or even Mom ("The Perfect Fan").
Bottom Line: Pure goo
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