Never Gone

Never Gone

4.5 33
by Backstreet Boys

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It's been nearly five years since the Backstreet Boys have released a new album, but as the all-too-literal title of 2005's Never Gone makes clear, they don't want you to call their fourth LP a comeback -- in their mind, they've been here for years. That's not strictly true, since all five members have disappeared from the charts, if not the tabloid headlines,…  See more details below


It's been nearly five years since the Backstreet Boys have released a new album, but as the all-too-literal title of 2005's Never Gone makes clear, they don't want you to call their fourth LP a comeback -- in their mind, they've been here for years. That's not strictly true, since all five members have disappeared from the charts, if not the tabloid headlines, since their 2000 flop, Black & Blue. While fellow teen pop icons like Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera had successful transitions into adulthood, while Jessica Simpson turned reality TV star and Mandy Moore turned genuine actress (for pity's sake, we will ignore Britney Spears' horrifying descent into white trash abyss), Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough, and Brian Littrell all faded away as A.J. McLean suffered a very public addiction to various substances. Nick Carter also suffered at the hands of the tabloids, in large part due to a very stormy relationship with Paris Hilton, but he also had the distinction of being the only Backstreet Boy to deliver a solo album -- Now or Never in 2002 -- which meant that he was the only BSB with an ignoble flop to his credit, as well. Now or Never had the distinction of being an old-school teen pop album being delivered too far after the craze. Carter's peers were changing their stripes, but he stuck to the tried and true BSB formula and was punished by the fickle public accordingly. Given that public humiliation, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Carter and the other Boys are wise enough to try something new on Never Gone: they've abandoned the teen pop of the late '90s for anthemic adult contemporary that sounds a bit like Bryan Adams circa 1990. It's not a reinvention as much as a lateral move, shifting from one kind of pop that's not selling to another that's not selling, but to their credit, Backstreet Boys acquit themselves reasonably well here. First of all, there's a bit of pleasure in hearing a group throw itself into the big, resolutely square sound of '90s adult contemporary, since nobody else is doing this sound in 2005, but also it fits the group well, particularly Carter, with his newly raspy lead vocals. Second, this is by and large a well-made record, with a handful of standout tracks, notably the first single "Incomplete," the John Ondrasik-written "Weird World," which is a lot more fun than any Five for Fighting tune, the Max Martin-helmed "Just Want You to Know," and "Lose It All," which bizarrely and appealingly sounds like an MOR version of an Oasis ballad. Although the rest of the record is essentially well-made filler, it does sound good; this is one time that a pop record benefits by having a different production team for nearly every one of the album's tracks, since the sound of each tune is just different enough to keep things interesting yet unified enough to make it pleasant background music. This is all enough to make Never Gone a solid adult contemporary album, which will please both BSB diehards and the dwindling ranks who wish that the glory days of Jon Secada never ended, but its relative strength does highlight one problem with the album: this kind of music doesn't sound quite as convincing when delivered by a group of guys as it does by one singer. If Never Gone had been released as Nick Carter's second solo album or A.J. McLean's first, it would have felt more genuine, since these (marginally) more mature songs of love and relationships would have more resonance sung by a solo singer instead of a pack of guys. But that's nitpicking, because even if it never sells as well as Millennium did at the turn of the century, Never Gone is at the very least a successful musical makeover from the onetime teen pop kings. [Never Gone was released in several editions, including a copy-protected CD that will not play on your computer without installing a separate media player, and a DualDisc, containing a CD on one side and a DVD on the other. The DualDisc has a 5.1 mix version of the album on the DVD side, along with the video for "Incomplete" as well as a brief documentary about the making of the video for "Incomplete." The CD side of the DualDisc may not register on some computers.]

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Backstreet Boys   Primary Artist
Alex Acuña   Percussion
Tommy Barbarella   Keyboards
Jerry Barnes   Bass
Michael Bland   Drums
Paul Bushnell   Bass
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
John Fields   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Fx Vocals
London Session Orchestra   Strings
Brent Milligan   Bass
Jamie Muhoberac   Keyboards
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Joe Porter   Drums
Robin Smith   Conductor
Gavyn Wright   Leader
Billy Mann   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
John Shanks   Drums
Ken Chastain   Percussion,Fx Vocals
Max Martin   Guitar
Dan Muckala   Piano,Keyboards
Greg Suran   Guitar
Kevin Richardson   Piano
Adam Phillips   Guitar
Gregg Wattenberg   Guitar
Chris McMurtry   Electric Guitar
Johan "Brorsan" Brorsson   Bass,Guitar
Brandon Heath   Acoustic Guitar
Alex Mifolng   Electric Guitar
Johan Reivén   Drums
René Tromberg   Percussion,Drums
Wil Malone   Conductor

Technical Credits

Gary Baker   Composer
Tommy Barbarella   String Arrangements
Paul Buckmaster   String Arrangements
Jess Cates   Composer
Steve Diamond   Composer
John Fields   Producer,Engineer
Isobel Griffiths   String Contractor
Shelly Peiken   Composer
Brian Scheuble   Engineer
Robin Smith   String Arrangements
Ren Swan   Engineer
Mark Taylor   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Frank Wolf   Bass Engineer
Chris Farren   Composer
Dave Dillbeck   Engineer
Wally Gagel   Composer
Billy Mann   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Backstreet Boys   Vocal Arrangements
Tom Coyne   Mastering
John Ondrasik   Composer,Executive Producer
John Shanks   Producer
Adam Brown   Engineer
Max Martin   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Jackie Murphy   Art Direction
F. Reid Shippen   Engineer
Dan Muckala   Composer,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Tom Leonard   Composer
Steve Miller   Engineer
Robin Lerner   Composer
Blair Daly   Composer
Pablo Munguia   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Lindy Robbins   Composer
Michael Ilbert   Engineer,Digital Editing
Gregg Wattenberg   Programming,Producer,String Arrangements
Mark Valentine   Engineer
Skye McCaskey   Engineer
John Hanes   Digital Editing
Chris Haggerty   Digital Editing
Jeff Rothschild   Engineer
Seth Waldmann   Engineer
Chris Testa   Engineer
Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Lasse Mårtén   Drum Engineering
Johan "Brorsan" Brorsson   Producer,Engineer
John Silas   Engineer
Paul L. Wiltshire   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Victoria Wu   Composer,Producer
Wil Malone   String Arrangements

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Never Gone 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is the best this time i really liked there songs and the most song a liked is (beautiful woman)...and (love is)..I was really happy when i heard that they are Keep it up Backstreet Boys
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the backstreet boys so much i am going buy their new cd on june 14 when it comes out you guys did a outstanding job with this album
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't have any of the backstreet boys cd's, but when I heard the "incomplete" song I completly fell in love with the song and them. I'am definetly going to buy this cd. P.S. The song incomplete is REALLY lovely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a good good cd, the only bad thing is that it ends too quickly, every mood every facet is explored and as someone previously said Beautiful woman is my fav song
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Backstreet Boys have made an awesome comeback. Their single, Incomplete, is a great CD. Everyone should buy one. I have always loved the Backstreet Boys, and now they are better than ever. Backstreets back Alright.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have all of the backstreet boys cd since "97". This group came back to let their fans know. They would not let them down over the past 10 years when they came out.With out fans support this group would not be so successful.Nick,Brian, Howie D.,Aj, Kevin. All the fans wanted to say thank you for coming out with their long waiting cd to come out some time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
They are going to make a really good comeback, they already have with Incomplete, but i def. love all of their songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So it has been nearly 5 years since the Backstreet Boys last put out an album. now after much anticipation, the boys are back and better than ever. with their 5th album in the United States and 7th album worldwide, they reach their fans expectations and prove that the Backstreet Boys are indeed back..although not with the happy-go-lucky pop fans are used to. More than just needing someone tonight the boys have deeper love ballads that showcase the quintets true vocal talent in songs such as "incomplete", "lose it all" , and "crawling back to you". Then they have the tragic break up tale in the dark and mysterious "Siberia". Then you have typical Backstreet love songs such as "Climbing the walls" and "I still". The boys have a few upbeat and more mature songs this time around such as "Weird World" and "Poster Girl". Then their catchy upbeat jazzier tune about a girl titled "My Beautiful Woman". "Just want you to know" has Kelly Clarkson's taste of "Since u've been gone" only this time the Backstreet Boys are "...fighting to let you go" instead of "so moving on." The last track on Never Gone is fittingly the self titled track to the album that Kevin Richardson wrote in honor of his father who passed away from cancer in the early 90's. This moving ballad not only showcases the groups amazing 5 part harmonies, but also reaches out and touches the millions of fans that can relate with it's strong and emotional lyrics. The Boys have had a few years off and have had to make many tough decisions in releasing this album having recorded over 40 demos for Never Gone. But in the end, I think for the most part, they put the right songs on this album and will prove to the fans that they were never gone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The boys are back and sound awesome still! The cd is a transition for fans and non-fans into what the Backstreet Boys are up to now and how time has changed them. People who never liked them before will change their tune with Never Gone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who says they'll never return? Well, the Backstreet Boys are back! The fab five, who wowed audiences all over are now back with their latest album, NEVER GONE. This group has shown maturity through their songs. Songs of powerful meaning such as Never Gone and Crawling Back to You show the maturity of these boys who have turned men on us in the blink of an eye. For any Backstreet fan, or a new fan, you'll definitely enjoy this album. For thus, this won't be the last we hear of them!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like "Incomplete" or any of their past hits, you will LOVE "Never Gone." The rest of the songs on the album are as good or better than "Incomplete." Be ready to sing because all the songs are very catchy. There aren't too many upbeat songs, but you hardly notice because you'll be so caught up in the beautiful ballads. "Poster Girl" is a song you'll want to blast at all your beach parties; and on songs like "I Still" and "Just Want you to Know" you'll want to grab your hairbrush and sing into it. I've been a fan for a long time, and it's so refreshing to hear these men focus on making good music and staying true to themselves. These days in music it seems like if you have a good music video people buy into you even if your songs aren't good. One thing I liked about this album was that all 5 guys alternated well with the lead singing. Kevin got a lot more solos, and Howie snuck in a few times. The harmonies were, as always, spot on. This album is very versatile. You could listen to it at a party, in the car, or just hanging around the house. You won't be disappointed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Awww man, I love this CD. They went a bit rock on us, but no matter what the guys put out, they still have their own unique sound. If I heard any of these songs on the radio for the first time, I'd be surprised of the type of song, but I would still know that it's them. The songs are awesome, and the studio version doesn't even do justice to these songs... you gotta hear them live... it's the best! To all the, haters that want to keep hanging on to the, "they don't write their own music" excuse for not liking them, I have something to say. It does not matter if you can write a song... what matters it if you can get a great vocalist(s) to sing it. Just because a person write their own songs does not mean that it'll win over fans and sell. I'm sure they have much input on how or what they perfer to sing. Come on... this is so old. Michael Jackson did NOT write, "Thriller" all by himself, and look how many copies it sold. So haters, get off of it already. Let's find another reason to hate them...
Guest More than 1 year ago
backstreet boys have allways put on verry great cds and great songs threw there carrer.also i just got there new cd never gone a few days ago and gave it a full listen to all 12 tracks verry amazing cd and diffrent from there passed cds. here you will notiecd that they have gone in a diffrent direction, insted of the programable dance beats witch they have used on other cds. on never gone regular insterments are played. the opening track incompete is a good one also like the track' weird world. and its just a great cd from the start to finish yep backstreets back its been a long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a backstreet boys fan for nine years and was so excited to get their new album "Never Gone". I think the album is very sublime and has a new mature sound which I like.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Backstreet boys has always been one of my favorite boy bands. I was really diappointed when they had not released an album in nearly five years but was very much excited when I heard that they were releasing a new album. The single "Incomplete" is great. It's like they were never gone. You will love the entire CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is awesome. I was Practically crying hearing those so familer voices again. It will not dissapoint you. Go BSB! There awesome! My Favorite Song is Poster Girl!! Loyal Fan since- 1997
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh My God! I Cant Belive That After 5 Years They Came Back! I Love This CD! My Favorite Is Incomplete. Go Nick Carter!(=
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, even though I do like the BACKSTREET BOYS, the album isn't good as my other one. (I have one other album) The ONLY one thats good is 'Incomplete'. Otherwise, it's horrible, I'm sorry to say. :( . It sounded good on their website, but when I listen to it, it doesn't sound too good. AND THIS IS THE TRUTH.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is one of their best cd's yet!! I just love listening to this cd! I like this cd because they sound alot more mature, and i really like the songs!
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG! I can't believe the Backstreet Boys! I love them! I used to listen to them in elemntary school and now a junior in high school and I still love them even though their music now is a little different, but it is different in a good way. some other bands can't pull that off but the Backstreet boys sure did! I'm so proud of them because they've come such a long way and I never get tired of listening to them especially their oldies songs!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD has to be the best they have ever made. Ive been a fan for 8 years and this is the best I've ever seen or hear them be. AJ voice is absolutly perfect as is the others and I'm so proud that he is now almost 3yrs sober. These boys have gone through so much and deserve everything. The songs on the album are very upbeat and it doesn't sound like teeny pop, the music is for all ages and it sounds very mature. The best songs on the album in my opinion are all of them, its hard to pick a favorite because they are that good. I suggest everyone buy this album or atleast just test it out at your local store. You won't be dissapointed trust me!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the worst band in the world- along with nsync and britney spears. It has no emotion, no soul, and it is mindless and stupid. also, the singing and songwritin just plain sucks! Do yourself a favour and go buy a Rammstein album!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first Backstreet Boys CD I've ever bought. Never cared one way or the other about them, but WOW!!! This CD is awesome! Perfect for a romantic night...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am actually very glad that I bought this album. It is very sweet and the Backstreet Boys have a great sound. Some songs like "Safest Place to Hide" and "Never Gone" are really soothing. This album is also very original, different from the other BSB Cds