Album Review from Unbreakable

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Date: Nov 07, 2007
Submitted By: Melody

Rating: *** 1/2

The boy band that just keeps on going loses one member (new father Kevin Richardson), but the new quartet lineup works fine, given that the group's famed harmonies are used more sparingly on its first album in three years. The sound is more mature and rock-flavored, with plenty of solo vocal takes. The opening track, Everything But Mine (which follows a short, harmony-laden intro), borrows a page from Duran Duran, with synthesizer and piercing guitar chords. Helpless When She Smiles starts with Sting-like bass before building into a rock power ballad. You Can Let Go uses strings and acoustic guitar as the foundation for a slow rock anthem. The harmonies drift in on the choruses of these songs. The debut single, Inconsolable, has a stronger dose of old-school Backstreet vocals, as does Unmistakable, another slow rocker. Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough and AJ McLean would be wise to stay away from reggae in the future, with that sound anchoring the CD's most forgettable tracks, Any Other Way and One in a Million. The album ends with Unsuspecting Sunday Afternoon, which hints at where Backstreet ultimately may be headed: a lush take on adult-contemporary music, bathed in piano, strings and harmonies.

- Larry Rodgers

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