Saturday, December 8, 2007

Billboard Review of Unbreakable

Backstreet Boys' No. 7 debut on The Billboard 200 with sixth CD "Unbreakable" makes clear how attentive the group's fan base remains 15 years after being pop radio's premium boy band brand. First release "Inconsolable" got a modicum of attention at adult top 40 and AC radio, but failed to cross to top 40. (Overseas love was more equitable; it reached the top 20 in the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Switzerland.) "Helpless When She Smiles" has been pegged by pop programmers as the next to go with, which hits the mark as a consummate BSB ballad, amped with enough electric guitars to fuel the edge it needs to compete alongside Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy and—ironically—boy band du jour Jonas Brothers. A worldwide tour launching next year is sure to prove that the chart game is less a measure of Backstreet's enduring relevance than the mania sure to ensue.

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