« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Album review: Backstreet Boys' 'This Is Us'

Backstreetboys The best song on Backstreet Boys' new album "This Is Us" is also by far the weirdest and creepiest. "PDA," an ode to the pleasure of public groping, splits the difference between the exhibitionist euphoria of Usher's "Love in  This Club" and Andy Samberg's "Saturday Night Live" skit about the travails of overly, um, sensitive men, the title of which cannot be reprinted in a family newspaper.

Coming from a band better known for its blow-out Max Martin ballads, it should be an embarrassing bit of lechery -- apparently even the grocery store is an acceptable forum for feelin' on a target's booty. But it's just absurd and un-self-aware enough to enter the pop vocabulary, which unfortunately can't be said for much else on "This Is Us," a competent but very late-adopted pop-trance slurry.

Though the Boys were one of the biggest pop acts of the '90s, they largely hand the reins off to their producers here, who include Lady GaGa’s hit-maker RedOne, Jim Jonsin and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder.

Cuts like "Bye Bye Love" and "Straight Through My Heart" have au courant hotel-lounge decadence to them, and "She's a Dream" benefits from the light melodic touch of guest T-Pain. But when the boys extol a lady's virtues because "she don't even know I'm a celebrity," the lyric rings of self-fulfilling prophecy.

--August Brown


Backstreet Boys
"This Is Us"
(Jive)
Two stars
 
Comments () | Archives (51)

I am so sick and tired of people putting down the Backstreet Boys and for what reason because they are a 'boyband?' I have been a fan since I was 14 and I'm 27 years old and I am a very proud to be a BSB fan and so what they have grown up and yes this album is more mature and more grown up but so what? They still ROCK which of course people like you and all other radio stations could care less about!!! Did you expect them to stay all nice and clean cut and sing love songs on ever album? Get over it and give them a chance and how about instead putting negative BS about the Backstreet Boys how about you give them credit and oh yeah how about maybe getting these radio stations to actually play their music more then just once......... Oh and please explain to me what they ever did to deserve such horrible treatment? The answer is: NOTHING! Grow up and grow a damn brain and know that the Backstreet Boys are the BEST!!!!!!!

I am so sick and tired of people putting down the Backstreet Boys and for what reason because they are a 'boyband?' I have been a fan since I was 14 and I'm 27 years old and I am a very proud to be a BSB fan and so what they have grown up and yes this album is more mature and more grown up but so what? They still ROCK which of course people like you and all other radio stations could care less about!!! Did you expect them to stay all nice and clean cut and sing love songs on ever album? Get over it and give them a chance and how about instead putting negative BS about the Backstreet Boys how about you give them credit and oh yeah how about maybe getting these radio stations to actually play their music more then just once........
3:31 PMOh and please explain to me what they ever did to deserve such horrible treatment? The answer is: NOTHING! Grow up and grow a damn brain and know that the Backstreet Boys are the BEST!!!!!!!

Raven: Thanks for replying! I just wish that this album makes it to the Billboads top 5 and remains in the list for weeks!

Critics are moronic, idiotic fools!!! They wouldn't know good music if it bit them in the ass/face (same thing when it comes to idiot critics!)!!!!!!!

Have you seen this video - I feel as though this is the truest and most emblematic display of Backstreet Boys indelible print on American Pop cultural history. It's called "A Day at the Office" and is even featured on the Backstreet Boys homepage. Enjoy - it will make you smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWhUeAy35qc

You all are really inspiring! I'm right there with you in being a faithful Backstreet Boys fan, but I just listened to "This Is Us" for the first time & was admittedly disappointed. I didn't want to be because I love them that much & believe in them, but I couldn't hide it. Yes, I thought some of the lyrics were absurd & seemed out of character. And a lot of you said they were going back to their roots with the dance beats, but I feel like ballads were always their forte "back in the day". To me, it seems like a completely different sound, certainly more modern. I have a problem with a lot of today's music, so that may be responsible for my initial reaction. But... After reading everything everyone said, I'm reminded of why I'm still a fan! After over 10 years, I'm STILL a fan because the harmonies they are able to create with their amazing voices are unreal (just look for their a cappella videos!)... Because they are charismatic... Because they are as faithful to us as we are to them... And because they are resilient! There are endless reasons. So, although I was tempted to allow this album to sit on a shelf, I am now giving it another chance. I know it appears I am not a true fan from some of my remarks, but I truly am. I just felt like I should be listening to Unbreakable instead. :) I honestly love Unbreakable & don't understand how that one can be labeled "disposable". Not at all! To me, it's up there with Millennium & Black & Blue. However, Never Gone is at the bottom of my list. Anyway, to conclude, it's nice to know there are still so many supportive Backstreet Boys fans around! I will definitely continue to KTBSPA! I love these guys, think they're super talented, & will continue following them for as long as they continue singing.

P.S. My favorite song so far is "If I Knew Then". Rock on, AJ! :)

I agree totally with Raven. There are worse songs out there. BSB again, have proven that they still got it going on. Their beats are fresh, totally related to life today and a pleasure to listen to. There music has grown along with them and it will continue to get better and better.
The TRUE fans know how we feel about it and that's all that matters. If everyone was into the same music, the world would be a dull place! Well done to the BSB. In my opinion, you have delivered well and truely. I look forward to many more albums and I'm going to be listening to the BSB well into my 'grandma' years (in about40 years +)

Hey I totally disagree... the person who wrote this is just so rude. This review is so biased, ridiculous, and unfair. I am from Japan and I see all the fans here loved this album too.

please realize that BSB has got serious talent and their new album is freakin amazing!!! why is it not being played on the Radio??????????????????????????????? haters need to stop hating!! and yes, i do not understand how songs like "let the booty do" and other talentless artists get airplay. when the Backstreet boys have REAL talent and they get no airtime?? hello!! the music industry is all screwed up!! they are not interested in real talent, just nasty, and explicit lyrics.

OKAYY!!!! There is absolutley nooo wayy that this album is mediocre!
This is an amazing album!!!
What is wrong with music critics?!
There is no way of being in good terms with critcis is there?!
If they do they're old Ballads and UpBeat Pop songs they say the guys have to learn they are no longer BOYS, to grow up; yet they try doing something more grown up and they still suck?! WTH?!
The Backstreet Boys are great now and forever. They have reached a level is success that not many people can say they've reached.

And PLEASEEE do not compare them to Britney or Lady Gaga.. As much as I like the girls catchy tunes, they can't singg!! SO PLEASEEE lets not do that again!!

thats not right you guys make fun of bsb like this. They worked very hard for this album and i belive that their album is great. Why would you guy say pda is creppy and weird. You guys have to give bsb a break.They when back to their roots of untempo songs and now you guys say its creepy lol because they are too old then Madonna show stop singing like virgin or dancing bacause shes to old defenetly creeps me out lol or nkotb. God it just frustrating how you people but them down after all they have accomplish after they have been the only boyband standing and still are love in the whole world.THank god bsb dont care what you people think becuase if they would they would of that be so successful or even worse be together for almost 20 years. Anyway what wont kill then makes then stronger.

I believe that they are 'growing'up with their fans. I have been a fan of them since they started and im 21 now. At first they made total bubblegum pop songs but as i grew older they started with love songs that fit my stage of puppy love but now they are making some pretty good dance songs, which in my opinion is perfect for my age group. Its an awesome CD and they need to keep recording.

i listened to the album on yahoo's early edition it was the bomb i screamed to the top of my lungs wen if i knew then came up!!! that song is now a regular in our clubs here in Samoa!!! go bsb!!!

Wow. I am thoroughly surprised at the critique of "This Is Us". As a 26 year old music lover, I try to listen to every type of genre around. I have been a fan of BSB since I was a pre-teen in the very beginning of their hits. And though it's not my favorite of their albums, there are some great songs on it!

i totally disagree with the post.
i love the album,bsb awesome men, songs like falling angel,what i know nw, straight through my heart my personal fav.

Dearest August Brown,
Stay away from under the counter drugs. Do your best to retain your job by doing a good job. Your review sucks!!
Perhaps you should be a politician, however, you will need some education and some common sense....things that you dont have.
Hater!!!!!

..."PDA" is one of my favorite's on the "ThisIsUs" album by BSB.

So, WHO IS THIS WRITER --- Mario TEXACAL James(PDA). We Would love to have him write for our current roster of boy bands.

:)

I would have to agree PDA is the best song on the album when i first purchased the CD i listen to PDA 3X before i went to the next song.... I LOVE the song i Think it should be there next singe

Im no avivar el BSB, pero tengo presente es nosotros y realmente belive es un álbum fresco rejilla I LOVE IT

why are they making big deal of this song anyways. there soo many wonderful songs on the album.
it is the the best album so far this year.

I have been a Backstreet Boy's fan since the very beginning. Unfortunately, "This is Us" is really disappointing. I only have a few favourites on the album as opposed to "Never Gone" and "Unmistakable" where I loved every track. "This is Us" sounds very manufactured. I miss the soothing BSB music!

You make a great point about "She's a Dream." The moment I heard the line about not knowing that Nick Carter is a celebrity I wanted to gag. That's a very selfish move and it surprised me.

Where is BSB going? They used to be the genuine group from Kentucky and Florida and now they're trying to be so Jo-Bro and Kevin Rudolf.

First off, I would like to point out that the song PDA is PG-13 when it comes to the lyrics. You say PDA is creepy, but come ON. Have you not been listening to the Rappers and Hip Hop artists these days? TAD bit more *ehem* explicit compared to the Backstreet Boys lyrics of PDA. I happen to love the song, and I am almost 28. People beleive that their fans are still ten years old. Guess what, we arent. We grew up, just as they did. Critics keep expecting to hear 90s beats come from the boys. I hate to break it to you, but last I checked, its the year 2009. Their music is going to change and sound more "adult" compared to their teenie bop ballets of the 90s. They are not boys any more, they're men (but of course they will always be the Backtreet Boys) . If you listen to Elvis' records fromt he 50s and compare them to his records from the 70s, they sound nothing a like and they actually sound more "racey" if you get my drift. I think this is just a lame excuse to make fun of the Backstreet Boys and I believe you are shooting them down without giving them a chance. The Backstreet Boys are the only boyband who survived the battle of the boybands. Why dont we give them so credit for it? They won that battle for a reason. THEY'RE GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO. Its a good album and there is nothing wrong with PDA. Have a nice day.

Check out the website powered by the fans. Backstreet Fan Community!

http://backstreetfancommunity.webs.com

I disagree with the article 100%. BSB's new album is awesome. All of the guys sound great in the album. So stop hatin

well lot of people talk abt this album but i know only one thing that "best work" always gets the attention of the whole world.many people are liking "this is us" then why other people are trying to defeat its success.

This review sucks, seriously all these so-called reviewers and mainstream radio stations GIVE OUR BOYS a chance! This is Us is an amazing album and I am DAMN PROUD to be a Backstreet Fan for LIFE!!!

You can't take away the fact that BSB is 1000 times more talented than some of the pitiable artists out there who will vanish in a couple of years no doubt. They have a great concrete loyal fan base and they are here to stay for another 17 more years and beyond!

LOVE YOU BSB <3

 
« | 1 2 3 | »

Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook



In Case You Missed It...

Video



Recent Posts


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.

Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: