August 11th, 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of one of America's biggest boy bands, the Backstreet Boys. The Backstreet boys, consists of members AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough, and Nick Carter, made their mark in 1997 with their first studio album, Backstreet's Back, and continued on with ten more studio albums, including a compilation album of their greatest hits. Despite having been a band in the nineties, the Backstreet Boys still reign popular among fans young and old as their latest album, In a World like This, was released in 2013. Recently The Backstreet Boys also held a residency at The AXIS of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino just earlier this year, and dropped a song with country group Florida Georgia Line, "God, Your Mama, and Me"
But for those who have not yet had the chance to appreciate the group's vocals and ability to bottle sunshine and put it into a beat, it may come as a difficult decision just where to start when introducing someone. Here are some of the best songs to introduce someone to the Backstreet Boys.
5. "I want it That Way" from the 199 album Millennium is number five on this list, not because it is any less amazing but because it is a song that most people recognize at one point or another if they have heard it."I Want it That Way" makes it on to the list because of it's wide vocal range and the chorus that is just all too hard to avoid singing to (believe me, I've tried). It is also home to a strong bridge, and an amazing harmony right around 2:22. It is one of the more expected songs to show a newcomer, but it is a classic.
4. "The Call" from the 2002 album Black and Blue makes it at number four for it's drastic difference in sound from the classic number five. "The Call" starts out with McLean who has arguably one of the strongest voices of the band as a whole, and is quick paced while not necessarily being a dance beat. The lyrics and beat are aggressive, and at 2:40 we are blessed again with McLean's show stopping note hold which is what truly steals the show. Two different versions are available online, the music video and the original, but the original soundtrack version has more flare.
3. "Get another boyfriend" , also from the 2000 album Black and Blue, is the iconic break up anthem despite not being from a girls perspective with lyrics like "There's nothin' that he's worthy of, he's just another player playing in the name of love", surely teens can relate to that even seventeen years later. "Get Another Boyfriend" also has a dance break just before the bridge which is also home to yet another powerful note provided by AJ McLean
2. "Incomplete" is from the early 2000s album, Never Gone, which was released in 2005. It's known that boy bands have to have a love ballad, and BSB does not have a shortage of them; however, "Incomplete" is one of their more powerful ballads that stray from their nineties sound. Their music changes with the times, and "Incomplete" is a good example of this for the simple fact that it is a heavier sound from former pop ballads such as "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"), which can come off as stereotypical boy band manufacturing.
It's hard to narrow down a band to just 5 songs, especially when their sound is ever changing, so the honorable mention for the day is "Make Believe" from the recent 2013 album, In a World Like This. "Make Believe" strays from the nineties pop genre, but ages gracefully into a sound with a likeness to Maroon 5.
1. The last one on the list is yet another song from their 2013 Album, "Feels Like Home". If listeners were to listen to "I want it That Way" and "Feels Like Home" back to back, the growth would be apparent upon the first note. "Feels Like Home" has an obvious modern pop influence but still manages to stick to the classic Backstreet Boys sound as above, as well as has a bridge that could make you roll down the window and shout it to the passersby obnoxiously. "Feels Like Home" (as well as the rest of the songs on the album) is a great demonstration of how they grow with their audience and age oh so very well.
Of course there are so many more songs to pick from, but these are a few songs that I believe really grasp what all the band can do and how they have evolved over time. They have a well rounded sound that has changed with the times and aged just as gracefully as the men have, and are sure to have at least one song for everyone that just sticks. All it takes is a little searching.