(By Gerry Wang)

bsb.jpg (13923 bytes)BACKSTREET BOYS- Millenium
Gerry Wang

    There's an eerie quality to the Backstreet Boys. I think they're aliens, actually, like how they described in MEN IN BLACK. How else can we explain their worldwide popularity? It's not as if they're the Pope, who really should be adored worldwide. I swear they're cyborgs, programmed to perform their roles by their managers. Those managers know what they're doing. They are marketing geniuses. Damn them....

    The Backstreet Boys rely on a strict formula of cheesy songs and love tunes and choreographical harmonies. But damn, they're good at what they do. They've singled-handedly hypnotized the girls of the America, also giving rise to countless numbers of clones. I, for one, have never hesitated to bash this boy band revival. Remember New Kids On The Block? They were the teen craze in the 80's, but now they symbolize the ultimate example in gay boy pop gone bad.

    But I ask myself, why the hell do I keep listening to Backstreet Boys, N Sync, 98 Degrees? I'm heterosexual, damn it. I'm a male. But somehow their melodies and lyrics take a hold on me. I find myself singing along all the time. When my roomies play their songs, we all chime in and harmonize together. It's scary.

    It's not that we think the Backstreet Boys are cute or anything. But somehow, I happen to be able to name Nick, Brian, Howie, AJ, and Kevin by sight! (I expect a lot of homophobic messages about this. C'mon, go ahead.)

    I think what makes the type of music the Backstreet Boys, N Sync, and 98 Degrees sing so alluring is that it's innocent and easy on the ears. They're just regular ol' sappy love songs that we can hum along to, just like the 80's. I love 80's music. When I'm alone in the car, and no one's looking, I turn the station to KOST and enjoy myself.

    It is because I'm a sucker for a cheesy love song like I must recommend the Backstreet Boys' 2nd American-released album "Millenium." If you don't know what formula I've been talking about, play this album through so you can see what I mean. Every song sounds the same! There's nothing to distinguish "Millenium" from "Backstreet Boys," the first album. But you know what? The first album kicked ass. The 2nd album is an excellent sequel, if we can call it that. It's chock full of nice sappy ear candy.

    Too bad for Garth Brooks. The Backstreet Boys have shattered his opening week record for sales. "Millenium" sold like 1.13 million copies in one week. Damn! They're first album sold 10 mill. These guys are so damn rich. But you know what's the worst part? All of our girlfriends are willing to dump us and sleep w/ THEM. I am jealous. They can have an orgy every single motherf*cking night.

    But let's get back to the album review. Speaking of which, this is my first album review. Let me know if you like it or not. I'm not sure if I'll continue doing album reviews, since you guys are all rock junkies. But of all the hate mail I've received about my articles, the majority have been from females. So ha, I still have a slow jam audience out there. Keep in mind I actually go purchase the albums I review. No illegal shit going on here!

    What makes "Millenium" a good album is that it is very consistent. All the songs retain the same amount of syrupyness. They're all sweet sounding. You can easily play this CD all the way through. It's only 12 tracks, btw, and it ends before you even know it. For me, the playability of a CD is very important. Not every track will be good on a CD, but they have to be good enough to keep us interested between the released singles. I hate having to skip certain tracks constantly because they make we wanna kill myself.

    But there are a few songs on this CD that stand out. Of course, they have aspects lifted straight from the first CD, like the same kind of beat in the background, same instrumentals, etc. That's why I consider "Millenium" more of an add-on, rather than a stand-alone. Because if you view it as a stand-alone, you'll see it has absolutely no identity or distinguishing characteristics. It'll be a rehash. But from the add-on perspective, you'll see this as a satisfactory "2nd disk" to the first album.

    My favorite songs on "Millenium" are "I Need You Tonight" and "Back To Your Heart." They have a silky chorus that reminds me the of old school Atlantic Starr days. There are also a couple of nice renditions of older songs. The remake of "No One Else Comes Close" ain't as good as the original or even the other remakes. But "Spanish Eyes" is a soulful Latin serenade. The current hit single, "I Want It That Way" is super catchy, but lacks the resonance of their previous singles. There's even a touching tribute to their mothers in "The Perfect Fan."

    Is this album a classic? No. But is it worth 12.99? I'd have to say so. If you like slow jams, or you want girls to like you, "Millenium" would be a good buy. Just don't expect anything outrageously different. Remember. ADD-ON.....ADD-ON......ADD-ON...


Music Scale:
4- a classic; one for the collection
3- satisfactory; worthy of a purchase or at least a listen-through
2- mediocre; get the mp3s
1- atrocious; buy it so you can destroy it and prevent someone else from getting tainted by its hideousness