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Backstreet Boys|Black & Blue

Black & Blue

Backstreet Boys

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When 'N Sync usurped the Backstreet Boys' record of number of albums sold in a single week early in 2000, it had to hurt the Backstreets, since it was played in the press as if they had lost the teen pop throne. By the time the group released their third album, Black & Blue, Thanksgiving week 2000, 'N Sync was still popular, but the arc of No Strings Attached illustrated that they were weak where the Backstreets were strong -- namely, they couldn't really deliver the seductive mid-tempo pop tunes and ballads that were the backbone of the Boys' crossover success. Songs like "Shape of My Heart," which flows as gracefully as "I Want It That Way," prove that the Backstreet Boys do teen pop ballads better than anyone, but what's interesting about Black & Blue is how aggressively they protect their territory. Of course, it's relative protection, since they, like 'N Sync and Britney Spears, work with Max Martin, the man behind the biggest hits by all three artists. Consequently, it's not a coincidence that "Get Another Boyfriend" is a dead ringer for "It's Gonna Be Me" crossed with "Baby One More Time," but what gives Black & Blue character is that it's clear that the Backstreets want to remain kings of their world. So, the ballads are smoother than ever, and their dance numbers hit harder, all in an attempt to keep their throne. It works, even if it takes a couple spins before the singles stand out, since the Backstreets' material and voices are stronger than that of their peers, adding up to state of the art teen-pop.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Black & Blue

Backstreet Boys

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1
The Call
00:03:24

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Max Martin, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - Rami, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - John Amatiello, Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Shape of My Heart
00:03:50

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Max Martin, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - Rami, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - Lisa Miskovsky, Composer, Lyricist - Stefan Boman, Recording Engineer - John Amatiello, Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Get Another Boyfriend
00:03:06

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Max Martin, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - Rami, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - John Amatiello, Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Shining Star
00:03:22

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Franciz, Composer, Lyricist - LePont, Composer, Lyricist - Rodney Jerkins, Producer - Paul Foley, Recording Engineer - Bob Brown, Recording Engineer - DEXTER SIMMONS, Mixing Engineer - Flip Osman, Editor - Nick Carter, Composer, Lyricist - Howie Dorough, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
I Promise You (With Everything I Am)
00:04:22

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Dan Hill, Composer, Lyricist - Timmy Allen, Producer - Veit Renn, Arranger, Producer - George Spatta, Recording Engineer - Adam Barber, Recording Engineer - Alan Armitage, Recording Engineer - Chris Trevett, Mixing Engineer - John Katalenic, Orchestrator - Dirk Woodruff, Engineer - Clayton Wariner, Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
The Answer to Our Life
00:03:17

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Per Magnusson, Producer, Recording Engineer - David Kreuger, Producer, Recording Engineer - Bernard Lohr, Mixing Engineer - Nick Carter, Composer, Lyricist - Howie Dorough, Composer, Lyricist - Brian T. Littrell, Composer, Lyricist - A.J. McLean, Composer, Lyricist - Kevin Richardson, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2001 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Everyone
00:03:29

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Kristian Lundin, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - Andreas Carlsson, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Thomas Tucker, Recording Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
More Than That
00:03:44

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Franciz, Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer - LePont, Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer - Johan Gunnarsson, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Adam Barber, Recording Engineer - Ulf Janson, Arranger, Conductor - Adam Anders, Composer, Lyricist - Henrik Janson, Arranger, Conductor - Mads Nilsen, Mixing Engineer

(P) 2001 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Time
00:03:54

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Brian T. Littrell, Composer, Lyricist - Nick Carter, Composer, Lyricist - Howie Dorough, Composer, Lyricist - A.J. McLean, Composer, Lyricist - Kevin Richardson, Composer, Lyricist - Babyface, Producer - Paul Boutin, Recording Engineer - Jon Gass, Mixing Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Not for Me
00:03:15

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Kristian Lundin, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - Jake, Composer, Lyricist, Mixing Engineer, Producer, Recording Engineer - Andreas Carlsson, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Yes I Will
00:03:50

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - A.J. McLean, Composer, Lyricist - Brian Kierulf, Composer, Lyricist - Timmy Allen, Producer - Larry "Rock" Campbell, Producer - Chris Trevett, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - George Spatta, Recording Engineer - Alan Armitage, Recording Engineer - Josh Schwartz, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
It's True
00:04:13

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Max Martin, Composer, Lyricist - Andreas Carlsson, Composer, Lyricist - Kevin Richardson, Composer, Lyricist - Per Magnusson, Arranger, Producer, Recording Engineer - David Kreuger, Arranger, Producer, Recording Engineer - Bernard Lohr, Mixing Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
How Did I Fall in Love with You
00:04:04

Backstreet Boys, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Associated Performer - Howie Dorough, Arranger, Composer, Lyricist - Calum MacColl, Composer, Lyricist - Andrew Fromm, Composer, Lyricist - Timmy Allen, Arranger, Producer - Veit Renn, Producer - George Spatta, Recording Engineer - Adam Barber, Recording Engineer - Alan Armitage, Recording Engineer - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixing Engineer - John Katalenic, Arranger - Dirk Woodruff, Engineer - Clayton Wariner, Engineer

(P) 2000 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

When 'N Sync usurped the Backstreet Boys' record of number of albums sold in a single week early in 2000, it had to hurt the Backstreets, since it was played in the press as if they had lost the teen pop throne. By the time the group released their third album, Black & Blue, Thanksgiving week 2000, 'N Sync was still popular, but the arc of No Strings Attached illustrated that they were weak where the Backstreets were strong -- namely, they couldn't really deliver the seductive mid-tempo pop tunes and ballads that were the backbone of the Boys' crossover success. Songs like "Shape of My Heart," which flows as gracefully as "I Want It That Way," prove that the Backstreet Boys do teen pop ballads better than anyone, but what's interesting about Black & Blue is how aggressively they protect their territory. Of course, it's relative protection, since they, like 'N Sync and Britney Spears, work with Max Martin, the man behind the biggest hits by all three artists. Consequently, it's not a coincidence that "Get Another Boyfriend" is a dead ringer for "It's Gonna Be Me" crossed with "Baby One More Time," but what gives Black & Blue character is that it's clear that the Backstreets want to remain kings of their world. So, the ballads are smoother than ever, and their dance numbers hit harder, all in an attempt to keep their throne. It works, even if it takes a couple spins before the singles stand out, since the Backstreets' material and voices are stronger than that of their peers, adding up to state of the art teen-pop.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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