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Sept. 7, 2012

The Blair Boogie: the boys are back

by Mimi Verdonk, Online Sports Editor
The Blair Boogie is a weekly blog focusing on what's new in the world of music. Come back next week Friday for the next edition.

"Backstreet's back, all right." They said it in 1998, and they're saying it almost a decade and a half later. You heard it folks, the Backstreet Boys are, in fact, back. But wait. Don't cue the teenage, or in this case thirty-something-year-old, obsessed fans quite yet.

Once the biggest boy band around, it's time for Backstreet to consider retirement. Courtesy of Free Celebrity Graphics
Once the biggest boy band around, it's time for Backstreet to consider retirement.
After splitting up six years ago, the band has been keeping it low key as individual singers; none of the members have succeeded to the same extent on their own as solo artists than as a group. Despite a few reunion concerts, all sell-outs, and rumors of new singles to be released, last Friday's Good Morning America performance was the first time all five of the guys have graced the same stage in years, months short of the band's 20th anniversary.

Despite what may seem like cause for Big Time Rush and One Direction to be worried, the return of the Backstreet Boys doesn't mean much. Four years ago, fellow boy band New Kids on the Block released a new CD, and after two relatively successful singles, vanished again into 90s band oblivion. I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but it seems almost certain Backstreet is in for the same fate.

The fact of the matter, much to the chagrin of the groups fans from 20 years ago, who are now approaching middle-age, is that Howie, Nick, A.J., Kevin and Brian are starting to get, well, old. Most of the group's members are married with children and households of their own. A.J. and Nick have also both been open about their struggles with drugs and alcohol. The Backstreet Boys title no longer seems to fit the group. With real life troubles and successes, the group is no longer comprised of boys: they're men.

Much like No Doubt, another band from last century making a comeback in 2012, Backstreet will learn the hard way that their fans have outgrown them. Though classic bands like the Rolling Stones and U2 have been in existence for decades, their music has matured with them. For a group like Backstreet, much of the boy band appeal came from their looks, synchronized dance routines and meaningless yet catchy croons. Watching thirty-five year old men in matching clothes struggling to dance and sing at the same time leaves old fans disappointed.

As the old saying goes, every boy band has their day. The Backstreet Boys’ reunion cruise and scheduled 2013 CD release are eerily reminiscent of that mom who tries to be young by dressing in crop tops and Uggs. Sometimes you’ve just got to give it up. For the Backstreet Boys, the time is now.



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  • Teresa (View Email) on September 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM
    Geez, at lease use Wiki and research to see what they have been doing the last 6 yrs. This article is lack of knowledge.
    1. BSB never left, only Kevin. They continued as a 4 piece releasing 2 albums after that and had world tours. What they were doing is no different from other rock bands who passed their prime, say Bon Jovi.
    2. Is U2 irrelavent these days anymore? I haven't heard anything abt them in the news. Is there a rule that artists shouldn't make new music when they pass their prime? If so, why don't you tell the Beach Boys and Boyz II Men to quit also?
  • Andrea (View Email) on September 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM
    NKOTB vanished again? What? They have been touring for four years including a sold out show at Fenway Park and 3 sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall. They just finished touring with BSB, a tour that ended with a successful Music Festival in Hershey Pennsylvania which also included Ally Clarkson and The Wanted. They're now headed back into the studio to record another album and have plans to tour next year. They will shortly be announcing their 5th cruise which, I'm sure will sell out in less than 24 hrs as the past 4 have. I'm not sure what your definition of "vanished" is but they are still very visible in my world!
  • BSB on September 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM
    Great opening sentence. love that song
  • Krystal (View Email) on September 8, 2012 at 4:40 AM
    Wow...get your facts straight. All you're doing is talking smack about BSB, this is not an 'article'. It's perfectly clear that you know nothing about them, or ANY boy band for that matter. I don't see a problem with going online and actually do research before creating an article. I hope this tip helps you in the future.
  • Gabby (View Email) on September 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM
    This article is waaaaayy off and very wrong. Backstreet Boys have been around for the last 6 years even though Kevin left during that time and NKOTB haven't faded into oblivion after their reunion album. As the others pointed out, they've been having a bunch of sold out concerts and cruises in the last 4 years along with BSB and are doing extremely well after all these years. Both bands are each recording an album for next year with all of their members, both bands are also the Hollywood Walk of Fame honorees, both are planning more big cruises for their fans, and other great things to come. Even though they're not very mainstream like they use to, they're still popular and loved by a lot of people. And they're doing things on their own terms and making their fans happy with their music. I think the author is being pessimistic all because these two groups are boy bands and boy bands are looked at as jokes. Well, it's fine if you don't like these types of bands but you don't have to be disrespectful and ignorant toward them and their fans. But to each his own I suppose.
  • rock your bodyyyy (View Email) on September 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM
    Ah, the generation gap between 2012 and 2013... It's showing here. I grew up singing songs from Millenium. I guess that's just something you guys missed...

    Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised by Unbreakable, and Straight Through My Heart wasn't awful. Besides, SMAP (wiki that, guys) will always take the cake for improbable popularity/longevity to talent ratio. Those guys are the best, in the weirdest way...
    • Gabby (View Email) on September 9, 2012 at 5:19 PM
      I just read about them(SMAP) on Wikipedia and they sound interesting. That's amazing they've been going since the late 80s. Such a shame I haven't heard much about them before. Gosh. Still, BSB and NKOTB are both really talented and legendary in terms of their music, singing abilities, phenomenal popularity, charm and struggles they all had to overcome.
  • amy (View Email) on September 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM
    Ok BSB fans are not all in their 30's, they NEVER broke up...before you try to say the guys are heading for a good bye your dead wrong...their fans still appreciate then to this day....they may all be in their 30's but they still have got it....unlike btr and one direction they have more than enough fans than they do...BSB will ALWAYS be around
  • cindy on September 11, 2012 at 10:40 PM
    Search on youtube: Backstreet Boys Unbreakable, This Is Us, and NKOTBSB tours, you'll find out they've been doing all right for the last 6 yrs. With or without Kevin coming back, they can still go on. They're not in the mainstream but they still can fill up arenas around the world.
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