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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It's always a little scary when an established artist or group makes a comeback after a long hiatus and gives its new project a name that screeches immortality. NEVER GONE by the Backstreet Boys takes its place alongside the Spice Girls' Forever as, at best, a naively hopeful (though technically untrue) title.
Is it any good?
For one thing, the boys have been gone, for a couple of years, since their previous album. For another, a bunch of stuff has happened in pop music in the interim that would make NEVER GONE sound musically clichéd even if the songs had something important to say and were well-written, which they are not.
The boys can still sing, and (lucky for us?) they didn't have to play any instruments on this album. Their songs are not offensive in the usual ways that cause parental concern. But lyrics like "You see colors no one else can see/In every breath you hear a symphony/You understand me like nobody can/I feel my soul unfolding, like a flower blooming" are insulting to their fans' intelligence and taste. Given the resources available to this immensely popular quintet of young men, it seems they could -- and should -- have figured out a way to do a whole lot better on the songwriting.