The teen heartthrobs, whose last disc sold an astonishing 27 million copies, are back with another that is as unimaginative as the title, Millennium.
To Backstreet Boys credit, they came up with a potent lead single in“ I Want It That Way,” a patently predictable but still irresistible heartache gem that shot up the charts. Indeed, if all the rest of the songs were that strong, it would be tough to find fault here. But they're not even close.
The Florida-based group leans a lot on light and gooey pop balladry. Occasionally, Backstreet Boys try to fire up the dance floor with tracks like “Larger Than Life” or“ Don't Want You Back,” which sound like they were lifted from old Michael Jackson outtakes. But the bread and butter is in the ballads, which may explain the lyrically limited “Back to Your Heart” or the whiny, Mutt Lange-produced “I Need You Tonight.” From the keyboard layers and ultra-lite harmonies throughout, right down to the way demographics come into such obvious play on “Spanish Eyes,” every move on Millennium seems uncomfortably contrived.