Backstreet’s back . but is it all right?

Megan Rozsa

UNBREAKABLE Backstreet Boys Released by Jive Records Stater rating (out of five): ***

Credit: Ron Soltys

That’s right, the Backstreet Boys are back despite being gone so so long. However, they are no longer the same: The group is without Kevin Richardson, who happened to be my personal favorite.

Die-hard fans of their favorite boy band will be happy with the release of their new CD, Unbreakable. They sound exactly the same: Synthesizers, piano, harmonized vocals. You can hardly tell Kevin is gone.

This album tends to be more mature than past albums, obviously because the band has grown up and moved on from its teenage-girl-pleasing stage. There aren’t many fast songs, but I think it’s better that way.

The band pulls its audience base more toward the older demographic. I can see my 50-year-old uncle listening to this while driving alongside the country road.

As with any Backstreet Boys CD, you’re going to have the song about break-ups, pretty things and heartbreakers — in other words, girls, girls, girls. That’s right. If you’re a boy with a broken, jaded heart, listen to this CD. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll curse the Backstreet Boys for saying what you’ve always wanted to say but didn’t know how.

For example, “One in a Million,” will have you saying “Amen, brothers.” Boasting lyrics like, “Wish I could tell her / you’re one in a million / but you never even look my way,” the song will have every hopeless romantic wanting more. Sing on, Backstreet, sing on. We feel your pain.

The middle of the CD closely resembles Maroon 5 in terms of musical arrangement. There are nifty guitar rifts thrown in here and there that make the songs more memorable.

Unbreakable picks up toward the end with faster songs, still about these girls that sound like devils. Who are these girls? I don’t know, but they make for fun background music.

This CD isn’t one of Backstreet’s best, but I give it an A for effort. After all, it’s got to be hard to get all the members back together, and then perform without one of the integral members.

Kudos to you, Backstreet Boys. You’ve stayed true to your musical history and produced another album we can all relate to.

Contact all correspondent Megan Rozsa at [email protected].