Backstreet Boys still got it with “DNA”

courtesy photo

courtesy photo

Backstreet Boys’ “DNA” might not be the band’s best work, but it is still a good pop record that shows how they have grown.

Backstreet Boys are back with their ninth album “DNA,” and it is alright. This album is a nice addition to Backstreet Boys’ catalog as it displays their maturity. There might be a few snoozers, but “DNA” is a strong album with plenty of quality pop songs that prove they still got it.

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is an incredibly strong introduction into Backstreet Boys’ album. This song serves as a way to show their lasting relevance and how they can extend their sound into a new generation. The group comes together in a way that sounds hip and modern but not desperate.

“Nobody Else” takes it down a notch into a slower dance-pop sound. It is important to note how the band is able to make a stereotypical boy band love song sound mature. This ability is a trend throughout the album’s better tracks as they are able to remain both modern and mature.

“Breathe” takes a note from the trend of acapella groups that has arisen over the past few years with Pitch Perfect and Pentatonix. The harmonies throughout the song are smooth with the group’s vocals flowing together beautifully. Backstreet Boys’ harmonies and their voices being used as an instrument are exemplified strongest on “Breathe.”

Their consistency continues on “New Love,” an album highlight. The deeper vocals displayed on this track are enchanting and very different from the typical Backstreet Boys-sound the group is associated with. One thing that could have made the song better, however, is the absence of the dated tropical house sound.

Backstreet Boys do really well with their slower pop songs like “Is It Just Me.” How a group of 40-year-old men are able to put out an overly dramatic pop breakup song and make it a bop is unknown. They did that, though, and did that well.

“Chances” is a fun dance track that keeps the energy and vibe of the album flowing, but the song is a bit generic. This is one of those tracks where it sounds exactly like at least 20 other songs that have been released in the past five years. While this might be a new direction for Backstreet Boys, this is an incredibly dated and overdone sound.

“No Place” is the typical soft pop-rock song about being so enamored with someone that no place could match their presence. This is not a particularly original or different song, but it is well sung with the members each delivering emotion to the song, bringing out the fangirl in any listener.

Some songs are duds and completely forgettable, like “Passionate” and “Chateau.” No track on the album is worse than “The Way It Is.” This Bruno Mars-reject is so cringe-worthy with vomit-inducing lyrics that are supposed to be romantic.

“Just Like You Like It” is not a great track with its overly sexual and generic lyrics. This makes it seem like the end of the album might be a bit of a chore to get through. However, this is made up by the celebratory and joyful-sounding “OK.” “OK” is a highlight from “DNA” and ends the album on the perfect note.

“DNA” could have been way worse than it is. It is not some groundbreaking masterpiece, but it shows how the band can still put together a solid pop album. Backstreet Boys’ “DNA” is a mediocre pop album with a few quality tracks that show how they have evolved with the times.

photo courtesy iTunes