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I was never a huge fan of boy bands in my youth, but after finding The Very Best Of the Backstreet Boys on sale on Amazon, I decided to buy it as I had liked several of their songs.
The album was only released in 2011 - perhaps to capitalise on a sense of nostalgia for the nineties! As one might expect, it contains the two best songs the band ever did. One is, of course, the incomparable Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - one of the best pop songs of the nineties. Another is Larger than Life - this is from later in the band's career, but like Everybody, is an uptempo singalong track with a rock edge.
One of the main reasons I was never keen on boy bands is because of the ballads. However, since buying this album I've realised just how many ballads the Backstreet Boys sang! The vast majority of tracks here are ballads, some of them slow, others a bit more uptempo. In fairness, they are better than average ballads - they are memorable and I recognise the majority of them from my childhood. As Long as You Love Me and I Want It That Way are particular highlights, and I remember loving All I Have To Give as a teenager, though More Than That and Drowning are slightly soppy for my taste. The last two songs on the album are tracks I don't recognise from the past - perhaps they are new songs recorded specially for the Best Of CD. They are midtempo songs, and I don't find them particularly memorable, lacking the foot-tapping beats of Everybody and Larger Than Life and without the strong melodies of the ballads. I'm quite disappointed that We've Got It Goin' On isn't included on this album - it's an uptempo track that would have sounded better than the endless ballads!
1. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
2. As Long As You Love Me
3. Everybody (Backstreet's Back) (Extended Version)
4. I'll Never Break Your Heart
5. All I Have To Give
6. I Want It That Way
7. Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely
8. Shape Of My Heart
9. More Than That
11. Larger Than Life
13. Just Want You To Know
This album is available from Amazon at a cost of only £3.97, so it's a bargain and I don't regret my purchase even if I was surprised at the sheer number of ballads. The Backstreet Boys were one of the best 90s boy bands and this CD is definitely worth a listen, even if only for the nostalgia value.