Who says boy bands are a thing of the past?
ABC is looking for the next big boy band with its summer series aptly titled Boy Band, which premieres this Thursday. A handful of young men will vy for a spot on the next boy band complete with a record contract from Hollywood Records. Along the way, they’ll be groomed by three of music’s biggest stars from the past and present.
And if there’s anyone who knows a little something about crafting a successful and longstanding boy band, it’s Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter. With Nick serving as an architect on ABC’s Boy Band, it got us reaching into our 90s nostalgia vault for some of our favorite BSB tunes.
Here are our 10 favorite Backstreet Boys songs (which was remarkably hard to narrow down to just 10, might I add. Also, I’m totally going to listening to these songs nonstop. Again.)
1. “I Want It That Way”
From the moment the music begins and Brian croons “you are my fire…” a sense of satisfaction and giddiness takes over. It’s such a beautiful song — beautiful in its lyrics, its music, and in how the boys belt it. It’s also just one hell of a pop song. It’s super catchy, lovely, and everything you could ask for in a pop ballad. Always number one in my book. Cause I want it that way.
2. “As Long As You Love Me”
If there’s a song that even comes close to “I Want It That Way,” it’s definitely “As Long As You Love Me.” It’s still my go-to song to brighten my day. From the moment the music begins, you know that this is going to be one hell of a pop song. It’s so catchy, smooth, and swoon-worthy. And the message — “I don’t care who you, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me.” Who wouldn’t fall head over heels if someone crooned those words to you?
3. “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”
If there’s one 90s pop song that’s guaranteed to get me up and “rocking my body,” it’s this one. It’s such a brilliant production and everything that I love about 90s pop music. Hey, Boy Band chose it as their show’s title song for a reason. A damn good one. It’s catchy as hell and just a great representation of 90s pop. The Thriller-inspired music video will always be iconic. I still know the dance, and I’m not ashamed.
4. “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”
This is just a song that I connect with on such a personal level that every time I hear it, it’s an emotional journey. It’s a song about losing someone you love and that grief that comes with it — that raw emotion where there’s something missing in your heart with loss. That’s such a powerful thing with music — to find a way to deliver a song like this that everyone can find something to connect to. This is such a beautifully, tragic pop ballad that just takes you to another place. It’s all in the delivery, the beautiful harmonizing, and the sense that you’re not alone in your pain.
5. “Larger Than Life”
There’s something so infectious about “Larger Than Life” that gets me fired up and ready to head back to the 90s. It has an amazing sound that’s catchy as hell, and is just a really fun jam. It also has a bit of rock flair that showed us that BSB can deliver on all fronts. Plus, it’s a song that’s dedicated to the fans — the boys thanking us for our love and support and how that has the power to inspire them. That’s really amazing.
6. “Shape of My Heart”
This is another one of those songs that’s just really special. It’s a song about forgiveness. It’s a song about redemption. It’s the kind of song that people connect to in different ways. “Shape of My Heart” reminded everyone that BSB are at their best when they’re delivering these heartfelt kind of songs that are as catchy as they are inspiring. Every time I hear this song, it instantly gets me singing (and that includes recently while getting a manicure.)
7. “We’ve Got It Goin’ On”
There are no words for how obsessed I am with “We’ve Got It Goin’ On.” It’s insanely, irresistibly catchy, and honestly is just a really fun song to rock out to. It’s really a testament to BSB’s ability to deliver energetic and fun songs while also managing to have solid vocals and even throw some harmony there in the bridge. This is old school Backstreet Boys, and it’s just so much fun.
8. “All I Have to Give”
“All I Have to Give” is one of the many songs the Backstreet Boys sang that really established them as a vocal powerhouse. BSB has always been about their voices, and it’s beautiful ballads like “All I Have To Give” that let all of their beautiful voices shine through. They’ve always thrived with their beautiful harmonies and their ability to make people swoon with their smooth vocals. Not to mention, these are the kind of songs that we don’t hear nowadays. People singing about love and meaning it.
This is one of those songs that doesn’t get enough credit for being as good as it is. “Drowning” was released as part of “The Hits” album, but it still has that “Black and Blue” feel to it. But “Drowning” is such a powerful, beautiful pop ballad that allows all five of the boys to shine vocally. It’s catchy, it’s pleasing to the ears, and it’s a testament to BSB’s ability to deliver swoon-worthy ballads throughout their career.
This list certainly would be “incomplete” without this song. After BSB took a short break, they returned as strong as ever with “Incomplete,” the first single off “Never Gone,” which brought with them a new sound that was also so very BSB. It’s a haunting, powerful ballad that really thrives on the beats within the song and the beautiful vocals that accompany it. It was the perfect song to usher in BSB’s new sound. And it also taught me how to get everything out of the word “in-com-plete.”
You can catch Nick on Boy Band, which premieres Thursday at 8/7c on ABC.