Unbreakable

There are only four of them now, and two are in their thirties, but they are still Boys, and they are more thoroughly bland and cheesy than ever. Like the Boys' 2005 comeback album (Never Gone — surely you haven't forgotten), Unbreakable makes small nods to adult pop, peppering the processed music with tasteful piano and light guitar riffs and keeping bright, danceable grooves to a minimum. But the material stinks worse than ever. Songs like "Something That I Already Know" are all lovelorn sentiments and giant, slick power-ballad choruses. "Trouble Is," another big ballad with a mildly rootsy groove, could actually do well on country radio, where melodrama rules, and things improve slightly when the Boys crank up the tempos on songs like "Any Other Way," a light funk rocker with a catchy minor-key tune. Still, there's just no saving "Love Will Keep You Up All Night" and "Helpless When She Smiles," the titles of which alone should give you an idea of how little the Backstreet Men have to offer.