Posted May 27, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

Miniature back-to-back greatest hits album comes out just in time for summer tour

The boyband superteam of NKOTBSB is a dream come true for anxious screaming girl groupies and lifetime fan club members. It’s not the first time two big pop bands have come together to form a Justice League joint tour, but the pristine organization for the combining of New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, two of the most popular pop bands of the 1990’s, is by far the most attractive and commercial to date. It’s not like the two groups were ever considered rivals, since the lifespan of New Kids started and stalled years before the Backstreets started their trek. But despite the cloudy days of today’s touring and the slouching economy, the reality of these bands merging together are as congealing as peanut butter-and-jelly is on bread. Both need each other and the end results will probably be more effective than any tour they’ve concocted during the height of their powers.

Using the R&B swagger of New Edition and the rhythm pop appeal of Hall & Oates, both bands culled out collections of music that celebrate the consciousness of ‘90’s music and paved the way for latter-day boy bands. Because of their triumphs, they capitalize on their “moment 4 life” tour with a single-disc retrospective, highlighting five tracks from each band.

 On the surface, NKOTBSB is designed to be a concert souvenir rather than a “greatest hits” replacement. Essentially, it works and rewards fans of both groups with their finer moments, particularly Backstreet Boys, whose glossy soundtrack seems to have survived the tests of time. “Everybody (Backstreet Back’s)” still has its dancefloor edginess and Max Martin’s “As Long As You Love Me” and “I Want It That Way,” with their bubbly feel-good nature, showcases the Backstreet Boys’ savvy for eternal pop radio airplay. Luckily, New Kids’ 1990 hit “Step By Step” opens the set with nostalgia bliss using its Barry White string and poppy chorus, painting a satisfying picture that both teams can safely play together. The back-to-back musical chairs are probably the set’s major drawback. Although the procession of the songs are designed to give off premature vibes of what one would expect during the live tour, the pacing from an early New Kids tune like 1988’s “Please Don’t Go Girl” with Maurice Starr’s  somewhatdated productions and Joe McIntyre’s pre-puberty vocals into 1999’s “I Want It That Way” feels like an unfair father versus son rivalry. The pace only is interrupted when the closing three tracks emerge to the surface. The originals are a delight to fans of the high-profile event, bringing both bands the dream opportunity to perform together. Although dreamy on the surface, they slack with originality and with the spunk of modern-day prowess. “All In My Head” operates as the subtle farewell love ballad, while “Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” not to be confused with Enrique Iglesias’ song, gives the supergroup the exact same swagger of Jason Derülo’s “In My Head.” The NKOTBSB megamix should only be played for Vegas-minded purposes.



  • Release Date: 24 May 2011
  • Label: Sony/Legacy
  • Producers: Various
  • Spin This: “As Long As You Love Me,” “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” “Step By Step”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine



    It’s New Kids On The Block’s Step By Step, not Backstreet’s. But overall a good review. For those of us that still quite enjoy our boybands, their new collaboration Don’t Turn Out The Lights is a fun, blessed relief from the rather violent-tinged, vulgar fare of present day Pop. There is a reason we still enjoy the new music of the Backstreet Boys/New Kids and it isn’t simply because Nick Carter is “hawt”!!


    Thanks for the “fact-checking” correction. That section was quickly added in at the last minute, will definitely update. And thank you for the comment.

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