Sunday, April 1, 2018

BACKSTREET BOYS-Never Gone [Japanese Edition] (2005)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: April 1, 2018

48 days—the absolute longest time that has ever passed between new posts being published here at "The Music Spectrum". It's been a rigorous yet enjoyable journey for me over these past few weeks, as I've made a lot of lifestyle changes and embarked on a number of new personal missions in order to better myself. Through it all, my love and passion for music has continued to exist inside of me while I've remained dedicated to the work I've done in creating and maintaining this beautiful blog. I may have been physically absent from the computer and the keyboard, but in my mind and in my heart, I was never gone. It seemed appropriate, then, that my first feature presentation to mark my long-awaited comeback should be given on "Never Gone", the sixth studio album by my all-time favorite boyband. I can't believe that it's already been a whole thirteen years since Brian Littrell, Howie D. and Nick Carter and company released this gem; time really flies in the music business, eh? I'd heard "Never Gone" a few times, but last night, I was in the mood to treat my ears to another good listen. I did exactly that, and it was so nice to not only be reconnected with the sublime collective voices of this BACKSTREET bunch, but to also hear some old goodies that I adored when I tuned in to them so long ago. And the one that I have to highlight first is one that became an instant hit and has remained a popular staple on the contemporary easy-listening radio airwaves: "Incomplete". I remember getting captivated by this song the moment that ambient, warming piano instrumental gracefully introduced the opening verse that begins with 'empty...spaces' before breaking out into the powerful, epic ballad that it becomes by the song's end. "Incomplete", in fact, right away indicates the shift in musical direction the boys took in the post-New Millennium—from their earlier dance-pop/r&b days to a more pop/soft rock style. Further selections along the same wavelength include the equally-epic title track (the melody and the words on this one are so moving, with the final 'in my heart is where you are' being a perfect way to leave a lasting imprint on you), "Lose It All" and the very charming piece, "Safest Place To Hide". But then, there are a few places where the vintage dance-pop BACKSTREET bunch busts out with some fun jams, and one that I love in particular is "Poster Girl". I really need to add this one to my 'boyband mix' because I keep forgetting how great this one sounds! And some terrific lyrics that flow nicely, too, such as the part of the chorus where they offer that 'life is just a chain reaction' and 'nothing is forever in this crazy world'. "Climbing The Walls": a simple song just to say the songwriter's going crazy all because he misses her. "My Beautiful Woman": the bouncy arrangement of this song is what makes it fun, a sorta half-rock/half-theatrical flow to it that almost makes it come off as sounding as humorous as it is heart-warming. "Song For The Unloved": a great inspirational piece and another one of those important social songs, this one directed at anybody who feels defeated and unappreciated. And concluding the album in awesome fashion is the uptempo acapella piece, "Movin' On", where the boys put on their trademark display of vocal harmony one last time. As usual, I've written a short mini-novel to convey my thoughts, a definite sign that I was never gone indeed:

1. Incomplete
2. Just Want You To Know
3. Crawling Back To You
4. Weird World
5. I Still...
6. Poster Girl
7. Lose It All
8. Climbing The Walls
9. My Beautiful Woman
10. Safest Place To Hide
11. Siberia
12. Never Gone
13. Song For The Unloved
14. Rush Over Me
15. Movin' On

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