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In a World Like This

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Album Review

Usually, teen idols sprint away from the notion they're racking up the years, but the Backstreet Boys cannily decided to treat their 20th Anniversary as a very big deal, bringing Kevin Richardson back into the fold — he left after 2005's Never — for a tour, a documentary, and In a World Like This, the band's seventh album. Over the course of the back half of the 2000s, Backstreet Boys slowly accepted their advancing age, making a slow shift from dance-pop toward adult contemporary, and although it has a sharper gleam in its sheen, In a World Like This doesn't find BSB reversing this trend. Working primarily with longtime colleague Max Martin, Morgan Taylor Reid, and Martin Terefe, who has produced Jason Mraz, Ron Sexsmith, James Morrison, and KT Tunstall among other singer/songwriters, Backstreet Boys take sideways glances toward their past but focus on the present, happy to keep things smooth even when the rhythms get a little heated. Most of the heavier dance beats come courtesy of Reid — the single "Permanent Stain," "One Phone Call," the shoutalong closer "Soldier" — but even then it rarely feels as if the Backstreet Boys are desperate for a club hit; as much as anything, these harder beats are there for some variety in texture. Max Martin does an admirable job in deglossing his hooks on the title track, but where BSB really shine are on the Terefe tracks, which sometimes hint at the breezy acoustic melodicism of Mraz, but better still evoke the classic stripped-down soul of prime Babyface, especially on "Try" and "Trust Me." Perhaps there are moments where texture trumps composition, but overall In a World Like This is a surprisingly mature and fine record from a former boy band that seems unafraid to act its age.

Customer Reviews

Not Boy Band, BAND! One of the greatest.

I remember seeing Unbreakable on the shelf one day, and thinking "whoa, they have a new one?... Sweet!" Then I remembered the last song I heard on the radio, Incomplete, several years before. I saw a single copy of Never Gone, which I grabed as well. As I listened to each album, I was saying to myself, "Why aren't they playing this on the radio? This is good stuff." They not only didn't lose a beat, but they were getter better. Now, I wont claim to be their biggest fans, ones who already knew about this stuff, but I was always a fan, and I continued to follow them when This is Us came out. By then, I was't surprised that they weren't getting radio time, but I was a little upset. The music was great, AGAIN, but still no songs on the radio. I figured that American radio producers thought that they didn't have the value anymore, that no one cared anymore. If that was true it was because they thought they stopped making music. Everyone I have told about these last thre albums have ended up getting one for themselves. And, each one of them saying they enjoyed the albums, even surprised how good the music was. Now, as BSB releases A World Like This 's new Single (actually the second single, as Permenent Stain has been on You Tube for a while), I'm guessing America will miss out on this one as well. Since Kevin is back, and it is their 20th aniversary,maybe they will give them a shot, and if they give them a real one, I bet they will get a big reaction. This song is as good, if not better than any tune out there.(notice I'm not comparing them to One Direction, but the whole industry)They have always been more than a boy band. They are a great BAND. I never left, and I will enjoy their music as long as they make it. Unfortuneately, there are probably many "old Fans" that don't know what their missing. Come on American Radio, get with it.

P.S. No offence to NKOTB, but that gig didn't do the BSB any favors. TKOTB were/are just a BOY Band, and quite frankly not in the same league as BSB when it comes to music.


Perfect way to celebrate 20 years! Love you guys!! <3 - @BiancaMarie_18

Backstreet's Back!

I'm shocked to see so many negative reviews. Why is everyone surprised that the new album doesn't sound like their old stuff? It's NEW. None of their albums sound the same. They have been around since '93, and although they are a pop group, they have grown into different styles of pop music just as the music industry has the past 20 year. It's still pop and they are still the Backstreet Boys - and just as fantastic as ever!! They are a truly talented group of musicians and they deserve greater recognition than what they are getting for all the hard work they do... I love you, BSB!! KTBSPA!


Formed: 1992 in Orlando, FL

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Backstreet Boys were, in many ways, a contradictory band. Comprised entirely of white middle-class Americans, the group sang a hybrid of new jack balladry, hip-hop, R&B, and dance club pop that originally found its greatest success in Canada and Europe, with their 1996 debut album charting in the Top Ten in nearly every country on the Continent. Ironically, success in their native land did not follow until nearly two years later, when teen pop enjoyed a commercial explosion in America. Along...
Full Bio
In a World Like This, Backstreet Boys
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock, Dance, Electronic, Adult Contemporary, Teen Pop
  • Released: Jul 30, 2013

Customer Ratings


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