CD Review: New Kids on the Block

The Block

By Caitlin Brown |

Do you remember when you first started hearing about boy bands? When people of our generation hear the term “boy band,” we almost immediately relate that phrase to the pop sensations of the late 1990s, such as the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC.

However, way before the teenybopper phase that some of us went through, New Kids on the Block existed as one of the original five-member pop boy bands. Many of our peers have no idea who NKOTB is. Some only know them through LFO’s famous “Summer Girls” with the lyrics “New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits, Chinese food makes me sick.”

The New Kids on the Block actually formed in 1984, way before the Backstreet Boys gained popularity in 1996. Their second album Hangin’ Tough (1988) and their third album Step by Step (1990) both reached number one in the US and the UK.

In 1990, they won two American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group and Favorite Pop/Rock Album for Hangin’ Tough. They broke up in 1994, and though several attempts were made to arrange a reunion, none of them went through.

After 14 years, the Kids are attempting a comeback with their new album The Block, released Sept. 2. The real problem with this is the fact that the Kids have stuck to their original sound and lyrical content.

The members of the NKOTB range in age from 35 to 39, and are still singing as if they’re 20. In their single “Summertime,” they try to create a new summer love anthem. In the song “Single,” they sing that if a pretty lady is single and at the club, she doesn’t need to go home alone that night. The fact that Ne-Yo sings on this track almost distracts me from the thought of middle-aged men pursuing young women at clubs.

The other guest artists are the Pussycat Dolls on the track “Grown Man,” chanting “Wanna go to a party?”

This album from the New Kids on the Block did not do much for a reinvention, and definitely are starting to seem more like creepy old men than pop superstars.

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