Release Date: Sep 2, 2008
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
After the Beantown boys' mini teaser show earlier this summer, it didn't look good - they were unsure of themselves and unintentionally funny. And as much as news of their reunion tickled millions of fans now approaching their 30s, accusations of "pointless nostalgia" and "brazen cash grab" were flying. We were all focused on the act of reunion as opposed to the album it would produce.
As if desperate to shed the boy band stigma and prove they’re now men, New Kid’s on the Block’s new collection of committee-crafted tracks The Block bears no distinguishing marks aside from a compulsion for sex, sex, sex with a lover whose name, apparently, is Girl. Breezy single ”Summertime” aside, it’s all vaguely icky: ”Grown Man” features the Pussycat Dolls chirping ”Do you like my body?/Do you think that I’m a hottie?” while ”Lights, Camera, Action” vapidly celebrates videotaped nookie. C-DOWNLOAD THIS: Watch the video for ”Summertime” on YouTube .
T wo decades on from their first single, the Boston teen heart-throbs who set the template for an onslaught of edgy boy bands update their pop schlock by hauling in a who's who of modern R&B: Akon, New Edition, Timbaland, the Pussycat Dolls and Ne-Yo feature. Proficient and predictably salacious..
The problem facing New Kids on the Block on their 2008 reunion The Block is the same one they had on their last album, 1994's Face the Music: the quintet are no longer kids and don't quite know how to be adults. That dilemma drove them apart back in 1994, as the group stumbled away from their clumsy stab at hip-hop on Face the Music, remembered chiefly for embarrassments like "Dirty Dawg," where the boys tried to be gangsta, as that was the style of the time. Fourteen years later, NKOTB are none the wiser, repeating the exact same mistakes as they did last time around as they restyle themselves to fit into current trends, piling on guest artists by the dozens with the hope that it will get them all the way back into the Top 40.
Review Summary: If New Kids On The Block’s reunion isn’t fueled by nostalgia, who exactly are they trying to appeal to?Remember when the Backstreet Boys released Never Gone and hacks fell over themselves to be the 318th person to dub them “the Backstreet Men”? Three years on, the Boys’ bubblegum forebears New Kids On The Block have belatedly decided to follow suit and grow up. The Block, the New Kids’ first album in fourteen years, is positively packed with references, both explicit and implicit, to their newfound maturity: from titles like ‘Grown Men’ to the wafer-thin sexual metaphors of ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Sexify My Love,’ the latter of which makes Akon (who offers an obligatory guest spot later on the disc) look like the shrewdest of worldplay merchants by comparison. Which all begs the question: if the New Kids On The Block’s reunion isn’t fuelled by the nostalgia of their now 30+ fanbase, who exactly are they trying to appeal to?Much as they attempted to do last time round, with 1994’s old-school rap-infused Face The Music (Youtube ‘Dirty Dawg’ for a piece of that foul-smelling pie), the New Kids are attempting to jump on the already-fading dancefloor r&b bandwagon, roping in the likes of Akon, Ne-Yo and Timbaland to add credibility to their latest venture.