After becoming a Backstreet Boys fan last year (I received the Millennium album as a Christmas gift), I decided to actually go out and buy their next album, "Black and Blue." I'm not sure what the title insinuates - are the boys beat up from too much touring, or working hard to get this album out or ?
I had heard that this album makes the BSB sound like an adult contemporary group. I don't think so. Can you hear Michael Bolton sing "The Call," or Barbara Streisand belt out "Shining Star?" I don't think so. They are still a Pop/Rock group hitting the Top 40 with a vengeance. In any case, the music is better, more mature and more personal.
The days of the very poppy, hokey songs of yesterday are gone. Granted, there are still some cliche-type lyrics, but overall the actual music is more creative and the words sung mean something besides "I want to go out with you" or "I want to have sex with you."
We, as listeners, also get to hear the voices of Kevin and Howie much more on this album than on the last. This is a great asset to this album. Let's face it - they can sing, too!
Two of the Boys, Brian and Kevin, got married before this album came out. It is obvious on the record that this influenced the songs, "I Promise You (With Everything I Am))" and "Yes, I Will." Both of these songs speak of marriage, long-term commitments and family.
The album lyrics are also more mature, I think, because they've lost the "girl" statement. Most of the time they sing the word "baby" instead.
By looking at the credits, I see that many of the songs were written, or partially written, by band members. The one at the end of the album was written by Howie D, and there is actually a credit for him doing that printed on the CD.
There is a song called "Everyone" that expresses thanks to all the fans for sticking with them, and another called "The Answer To Our Life" where they are looking for the answer to the question, 'Why are we here?' It's obvious that they've grown and matured enough to know where they've been and where they'd like to go.
The biggest message on this album I think, though, is the fact that all of these 'Boys' are either in love, were in love or are falling in love. This may or may not be true, but that's what it sounds like in the music.
Personally . . .
I like this album. However, I am somewhat disappointed at the lack of a traditional BSB fast and funky dance tune. There are funky dance tunes on this album, but not fast enough for me to use for my dance classes. I may speed up a couple of them and use them anyway!
Here is the play list:
This funky tune about a guy who makes a call to his waiting girlfriend to not wait up for him because he's "going to a place nearby" is a tribute to all of those guys who thought they could get away with cheating on their ladies. The beat is very strong. There are times where the music overpowers the vocals and it is difficult to decipher what is being said. It's a good song to start the CD with.
Shape Of My Heart
I really like this ballad. It's the story of trying to make it big, treating your significant other the wrong way on your way up and, finally, trying to make it up to them once you get there.
Get Another Boyfriend
This song is probably my least favorite. It has the same beat as "The Call" but it doesn't have the same punch. And, talking about boyfriends and things reminds me of the hokey pop songs they used to do. This may end up being your favorite, but for me, I usually skip this one.
This one is my favorite! A good funky beat with catchy lyrics because "there is no one like you, baby."
I Promise You (With Everything I Am)
As I mentioned before, this is a loving ballad about marriage. As a former DJ, I can almost guarantee you that, if this song is ever released as a single, it will be played at most of the weddings this summer.
The Answer To Our Life
This is almost a pleading to God to tell us the answer to why we are all here. I think this is the fastest tune on the record. Here is a sample of the lyrics:
"Show me a reason, give me a sign
Tell me the way we fall out of line.
Is it today or is it tonight we'll find
The answer to our lives?"
It's a good catchy tune. I hear a lot of AJ's voice in this one.
This is another good funky song that is a thanks to all the fans for being there all of this time.
More Than That
A slower song with a strong beat, this song is trying to prove that the person singing it will love her "more than that."
This song deals with the fact that time simply continues, and what you do with it is up to you. The boys marvel at where they have come from and where they are now. They know that their dreams have come true, and they are in control of what they do in the future.
Not For Me
A faster song about being treated right in a relationship and how her love is "not for me." This one has a good beat and is great for club dancing.
Yes I Will
Another great wedding song. This one is faster, however, so it would be more appropriate for a reception. The lyrics are more of a proposal, though, as the requester is waiting to hear those three words, "yes, I will!"
This ballad is another pledge to long-lasting relationships.
What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful)
I like this song a lot. It's a faster song, yet the beat is subtle so you can concentrate on the great lyrics. This song celebrates the differences in all of us.
How Did I Fall In Love With You
This song has to be the sweetest and most gut-wrenching one on the album. It's about a guy who is really good friends with a girl, and then he realizes how much he loves her. He wonders what she did to him to make him fall in love so fast. Howie D provides most of the vocals, and his voice makes him sound as though he is in so much love that he is in pain. It's a very touching song without one stitch of pop or top 40 written on it. I'm sure it will be one of those great songs that is never played on the radio. It is definitely my second favorite on the album.
I hope I gave you a good idea as to what this album is
about and what it sounds like. Even though I don't have much for my dance classes from this album, I really enjoy listening to it and singing along with it in my car. I've been a harmony singer since high school choir, and the songs on this album give me plenty of chances to harmonize!
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Great Music to Play While: Driving