Block [UK Bonus Tracks]

Block [UK Bonus Tracks]

by New Kids on the Block

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Overview

Block [UK Bonus Tracks]

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, restyling themselves to fit into current trends and piling on guest artists by the dozens. Coming off the heels of the astounding multi-platinum success of Hangin' Tough and Step by Step, such desperate attempts to hang onto stardom made sense in 1994, but now that all the members save Joey McIntyre are pushing 40, it's awkward to hear the group abandon sprightly bubblegum for youthful rhythm-driven club music. At their peak, NKOTB only sang about puppy love -- how could they not, as their fans were almost entirely preteens too young to hear sticky songs of seduction, the kind that comprise the entirety of The Block. Two of these are pitched directly at those older fans -- "Big Girl Now," where the Kids sing to Lady GaGa about what they can finally do now that they're all growed up, and "Grown Man," where they sing pretty much the same thing with the Pussycat Dolls. They also turn an homage to "Dirty Dancing" into a bump and grind that is far, far from the innocence of the Patrick Swayze original, or the New Kids music, for that matter. Draped in washes of chilly analog synths straight out of Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds, Autotune inspired by Akon (who appears on the barroom pickup anthem "Put It on My Tab"), chanting choruses, and brittle, skittish rhythms, The Block sounds nothing like the New Kids, nor does it feel like them, either. [A U.K. version of the CD was released with a bonus track.]

Product Details

Release Date: 09/09/2008
Label: Imports
UPC: 0602517835689
catalogNumber: 823810

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