Review - New Kids on the Block - 10
It must be hard to be a member in an aging boyband – your fans age (with you), your music becomes less and less relevant, and there are sure to be more than a few jokes made at your expense. On the other hand, if done right, you can go from being in just another manufactured boyband to singing in a distinguished vocal consortium. It might not be as glamorous and well-paid as it used to be, but thus is life.
We’ve all seen those aging pop singers desperately try to hold on to their youth, and we’re all VERY aware of how it rarely works (COUGH Madonna). Thankfully, the New Kids on the Block don’t seem to be going that route, but rather meandering down the road that fellow 90’s stars the Backstreet Boys (with whom they released an album a few years ago) and 98 Degrees (with whom they are going on tour with later this year) are: keep making music, and stick with what made you who you are.
‘10’ sounds like what men in their 40’s singing pop music should sound like; they aren’t trying to be sexy, they aren’t talking about staying up all night and being at the club. The album isn’t a standout, but it’s a solid adult pop album. That may not sound exciting to many of the people reading this, but there is something to be said for stepping outside of what the world expects “pop” music to be and making it what fits for you.
And, to be quite honest, ‘10’ doesn’t sound as dated as one might think. There are touches of dance and EDM throughout the album, but it never pushes the limits of what we can accept from people old enough to be our fathers. Some tracks are pure adult contemporary pop, and others could find a home in the ears of open-minded youngsters, such as lead single “Remix (I Like The)” and “Take My Breath Away”, a song that combines the cheesy “girl I love you” lines of the boyband’s heyday with slightly inspirational-leaning dance.
Hey, I’m as surprised as the rest of you.
Listen to: “Remix (I Like The)”, “Take My Breath Away”, “The Whisper”, “Crash” (to hear the youngest of all the tracks)