Prefabricated, too pretty, suspiciously well choreographed — such objections to the Backstreet Boys wither in the face of singles like the undeniable "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" and the sweet soar of "I'll Never Break Your Heart." The Boys follow up their tenfold-platinum debut with an album filled with examples of their forte: New Jack doo-wop and lyrically trivial, rhythmically insistent funk lite. Nick Carter's voice strains on "I Need You Tonight," and the blandishments of "The Perfect Fan" evaporate as the song unfolds, but prepare to pay dance-floor obeisance to "It's Gotta Be You," a blatant "Everybody" rework with the same menacing bass line and disco-funky "whoo-whoo" breaks. The ballad "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" digs its melodic claws into your skull on the first listen — it's the swooniest blending of the five vocalists' timbres to date, and mighty pretty besides.
- Backstreet Boys
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