I have to hand it to them – the Backstreet Boys don’t quit trying to beat the dead horse. In a World Like This is released through their own record label after they are dropped by Jive a few years ago, and they even roped back in Kevin Richardson, who must have found that the world outside must be a cruel place to a former boyband member. While the manliness quotient of the guys is now almost back to its former glory with this re-addition, age and gravity can take their toll hard.
It’s interesting, and a bit sad, how they are now on their own, and therefore, they are free to come up with whatever sound they want and yet they still come up with something that sounds as dated and tired as their previous few efforts to resurrect their careers. Tracks like the title track and Madeleine are inoffensive and pleasant, but they are crafted from the same formula that is now really showing its age. There is also a noticeable lack of zest and enthusiasm in the vocals. Perhaps it’s due to cheaper production values, I don’t know, but these guys sound like they are blandly phoning in and counting in their heads the days until their first royalty check comes in.
With their fans becoming older and smaller in number, these guys need to reinvent themselves, to sound fresh and relevant. Otherwise, why even try? In a World Like This – why bother?