Yeah this is a weird one for me. I don’t really know why it’s in my head, or where I would’ve heard it recently, but here we are.
Back in the ’90s when we were in the hey day of boy band popularity I wouldn’t have been caught dead listening to, much less writing about, any groups like New Kids on the Block, N’Sync, or Backstreet Boys. Nowadays, I have a but more respect for traditional pop and find it amusing if nothing else.
This song is just kinda silly to me, and the video ramps that silliness up to 11. I do have some questions, but they mostly boil down to What the fuck?
- Why is the album/song title parenthetical possessive? Are we talking about their actual back? Not like, a return, but their collective posterior? Or is it the backstreet’s back? Like an alley way of some kind?
- Who decided on this theme for a video? Someone really thought doing a group thriller thing was a good idea, but the thing about the thriller video was that the song and video were thematically linked…there are no horror themes in this song…
- “Am I Sexual?” is just such a weird question, and why is there some busted-ass looking mummy asking me that question?
- I don’t get this from a very high level marketing perspective. Like, the primary product you’re selling here is pop music, but the real draw for the target demographic is the cute guys. Why would you cover them up and make them look like low-rent b-movie monsters?
- What do I know anyway? This song and video were both smash hits that were inescapable in the pop-culture zeitgeist at the time and remain relevant, so clearly their plan worked.
Anyway, I don’t really have a ton of in-depth analysis or anything on this one. Just a weird pop relic from a bygone era that is kind of a fun overly poppy bop with very little substance, but is good nostalgia bait for us older millennials. It’s weird how thinking about this song now I do feel a weird sense of familiarity and nostalgia, but I absolutely hated it when it was released. I feel like there’s more to unpack there, but that will be for another time.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Last Time I Heard It: I have absolutely no idea. I feel like it must have been fairly recently. I will say until this morning I’ve never listened to this song by choice, so it would’ve been either on a TV show or movie, or like…on a Tik Tok I could hear from my GF’s phone or something.