In A World Like This…Two Years Later


So this is our first post on a brand new site.

Kind of not sure what to say. It’s sort of surreal. I mean TDS spiraled because of Jello, okay? JELLO. Then it became this force that I’m not even sure I understand anymore and I (Rose) was the “instigator”. Go figure!

That said, here’s the summary: The BSB fandom is massive but the amount of websites garnering information? The amount of the discussions? Opinions? Fan reviews? Next to zero and honestly in the days of constant social media and information, it’s pretty depressing. We have an awesome forum but in a way message boards aren’t for everyone…(We would LOVE for you to check our forum out though.) This is a new way to reach out to you – our fellow fans in a world like this. See what we did there? Hah, I promise the rest of our jokes will be better!

Moving on…

Since there’s FINALLY some talk about recording the new album next year (man this wait is forever!) – now that it’s been two years almost since its release, what do we really think of In A World Like This? So my co-blogger Jaclyn, my awesome co-mod on TDS – Sagar, and I are here to break it down for you – song by song.

In A World Like This –
Happy feels. That’s what the melody gives to me almost immediately. I don’t always agree with the Boys going to Max Martin but with this song I’m so glad they did. Great song choice for a single too. Catchy and easy to sing along to.
Sagar I liked this track when it came out, and thought it was a good pick for first single. Over time, it has grown on me a lot. I love nearly all of Max Martin’s contributions for the Boys. This has the classic Max Martin pop song flow to it that gives it a timeless feeling.
Jaclyn From the very first time I heard this song on some crappy video taken at a soundcheck in China (I think?), I was instantly addicted. I had no idea what the actual words were, but it had this unbelievable melody and a chorus that kind of soared. I think this song ranks among their all time hits – it’s classic, uplifting pop. My only minor complaint was the autotune that was used on the studio track. After hearing it live several times I still have NO IDEA why it was necessary.

Permanent Stain
Nick sounds excited when this first starts off. I wanna clap with them lol. Then the chorus gets going and I immediately wanna go “That’s when it’s Christmas time again”. I mean okay, they’re both written by the same people so that makes sense but yeah. It’s like the non-Christmasy version of the same song. I do love the ooooh—ooooh—oooh in the middle, very beach-boys.
Sagar This one continues to be sort of my guilty pleasure. Lyrics are cheesy, but it has this epic stadium anthem sound to it. Two years later, it’s still a fun jam.
Jaclyn Permanent Stain is one of those songs I can’t totally hate on. I really hate the title and the fact that it reminds me of various types of stains that are difficult to remove (this might be the best/worst jingle for Tide ever). That being said, there was this moment when Kevin took is unwavering stare, locked in on my eyes, and sang “never mind what people say ’cause they don’t understand” at a show in 2014 and from that point forward I could not speak ill of Permanent Stain. It’s corny, sure, but it’s at least a fun listen.

Suddenly everything slows down but it feels good. Kevin’s voice is like freaking velvet. Thanks to the IAWLT tour all I can picture is Nick doing his random dance that never suits this song but is still hilarious. This song is mellow but it’s something you can just kinda sway to and enjoy the music. They need more like this.
Sagar My favorite song on the album. Needless to say, this still goes on repeat several times on my playlist. I love the Kevin/AJ vocal combo on this one. My girlfriend and I love singing along to this song when we go on a drive.
Jaclyn This might be my sleeper hit of IAWLT. I like the song instantly. I like that Kevin led on it, I liked that his vocals blended so well with AJ’s, and I really liked that the song had a cohesive story. Brian’s adlibs at the end were also on point. But this is the song that – even though I liked it from the start – really grew on me. I listen to it now and might need to agree with Sagar that this could content for my favorite song on the album.

I’m a Nick fan so that biases the hell out of me on this song. The story behind it is kinda sad, since it’s inspired by a fan who committed suicide. But really why I love it is that it’s Nick, and a guitar. Where is the bad here? Find me the bad. I see none. This song is simple and sometimes simple is beautiful. This is one of those times.
Sagar Beautiful lyrics, great message. This is along the lines of the kind of music I want to see BSB make more of. Nick has some great vocals on this. I don’t listen to it as often as I used to, but the quality of Nick and AJ’s voice, and the smooth bass line get me every time
Jaclyn Nick’s vocals on this track really sell it. The AJ/Nick combo never gets old and – again – I love that cohesiveness of the lyrics and the message. The lyrics that get me the most are “You wrote it in a notebook/And said someday that this would be a story to tell/And you’d put it in a movie, maybe be the movie star” because that’s pretty much what my friends and I would do all the time: imagine our teen angst bullshit in a movie starring ourselves! I tend to prefer the acoustic version that they do over the album version, which needlessly uses an organ in my opinion, but overall I have to say this song impressed me.

Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of)
The message is lovely. I mean this song was written for the Backstreet babies we coo over. But, this song became a skipper for me. I’m not even sure what it is. But my finger immediately went for the skip button before remembering I’m reviewing so I can’t. At least the vocals are beautiful as proven by the haunting stems they used in the BSB Documentary.
Sagar Another lovely, meaningful song. I find myself listening to this one less often these days. But that Kevin/AJ combo again… sounds so good!
Jaclyn I think I get what Rose and Sagar are saying on this one… sometimes I’m just not in the mood for this song. Then, it’ll pop up when I’m driving and I’ll find myself saying, ‘damn, I really love this song!’ I think this is another track where the acoustic version ends up being more addictive than the album version. They did this song nearly a capella and I still cry silent tears of joy over Howie and Brian doing the background vocals.

Make Believe
Okay I adore this song straight off. AJ, you kill it on this song from the start. Chills and not because I live in Vegas so my AC is cranked on high. Make Believe was my favorite when I first got the album and I’m reminded of why now. Boys I want to Make Believe with you! It’s such a fantasy song and the melody itself lends itself to it. You could picture yourself getting that happy ending. A giant tease really, because well, all five Boys are MARRIED. But that’s okay. I forgive you Boys.
Sagar This is a particularly unique song. A little under 5 minutes long, it doesn’t sound like a typical BSB song. Gets kind of trippy from the bridge onwards, I love listening to it as I drive, feel like I am really taking off to find a new world
Jaclyn Do you know what’s awesome about this song that I’ve noticed more and more over the years? This is a perfect example of keeping it simple but not skimping on production. The production on this song is very intricate. There are a lot of details in the sound. But when you listen, you they go unnoticed and it sounds so …dare I say… organic! Nick’s bridge vocals are *ahem* out of this world.

Man I really loved Try when I first got the album. The slow 90s rnb vibe did it for me. Not to mention AJ sounds fantastic. But time has I don’t know, changed my opinion? Or the love died down. Now it almost feels too slow. Everything else about this song is perfect though. Love the genre, love the harmonies, and I love that they’re not trying to force in 5 separate solos. It’s got a great groove. Maybe it’s me Try, not you.
Sagar Always been a song for particular occasions for me. Simple lyrics & instrumentation, AJ’s soulful voice. Need a quiet, peaceful environment to play this one in.
Jaclyn This is one I can’t stop playing, ever. But I’ll admit that’s mostly because when it comes on I’m with people and want them to guess who the artist is. I’ve played this one for a lot of non-BSB fans and it tends to get the best response. The more I listen, the more I can hear the background vocals from Howie and Kevin in particular – if you haven’t listened that closely, I beg you to try. ….Oh shit, that was an unintentional pun! It stays.

Trust Me
I like the idea of this song. I’m immediately reminded of Evergreen and it’s almost like this song is the obedient little brother to the hippie love child that song was. Because I feel like it could be better, this song falls flat for me. One of the cases where this song might go too far on the simple scale.
Sagar A close second favorite off the album for me. Still absolutely love listening to this song. The lyrics have its highs & lows, but the music & instrumentation is just perfect. This song shows you don’t need synth & dance beats to be an upbeat song.
Jaclyn From the beginning I felt like I was the only person that didn’t like this song. Two years later and nothing has changed lol!!! I can sing along to it just fine but I agree with Rose, I would have rather them released Evergreen on an album than Trust Me, which sounds like its second cousin. I never play this one and that makes my heart sad.

Love Somebody
I remember before even knowing the song credits hearing the “you wear the jersey of my favorite team” bit and was like oh Nick SO wrote this. His personality is all over it and it could be why it’s so infectious and energetic. Especially in concert. It’s Nick turned into a song! That’s likely why I still love it. PS – Howie’s voice is insane in this one.
Sagar This was a song I rarely listened to when the album came out. But after hearing it live, it slowly grew on me. Howie’s vocals are the highlight of this song. I listen to the live version more often, but I appreciate it more now.
Jaclyn I think that Howie’s live vocals really save this song. Also, that ‘I could watch this once and know it forever’ dance they did during the IAWLT tour! That being said this wasn’t one of my favorites. I think I only tolerate it because it reminds me of I Heart Nick Carter (which inevitably reminds me of Nick comparing his relationship to some random turkeys he picked up at a supermarket).

One Phone Call
Brian starts this one and it’s almost like, good to hear from you! I like the way he starts it in his lower register, and this song is the first darker feeling one on the album to me. It’s slightly haunting and while I love how this album is so happy, it’s a good change of pace. Phone calls never seem to go well for these Boys in song form though…do they?
Sagar Surprisingly enough, these days I listen to this song more often than some of the others on the album that I would rate higher. It has a catchy hook, and despite the cheesy lyrics with prison analogies, it works very well. Also the bridge is an example of good use of auto-tune (which I am usually against)
Jaclyn I literally cannot think of anything else but jail when I hear this song (seemed to be the point), which means that I’d have to tell the story about this one time that a friend and I got caught up in some shady dealings which included a thermometer, condoms, and travel sized shampoo bottles and….. well, this is why I can’t listen to this song! I do like that Brian got to start this one off, however. I think his vocals on this track are probably the most solid because of the range they put him in. Something to watch for on the next album.

Feels Like Home
This song is legitimately one of my faves because of Kevin. He sounds completely southern and FUNKY. Get funky with us Kevin! That twang is everything. I’ve replayed the beginning three times just doing this review because I love it that much. This song is a dedication to the fans yet again and Boys, we feel the love. We really do feel the love from you here.
Sagar I actually loved this song when it came out, though I don’t listen to it as often now. Super-cheesy lyrics, but Kevin’s smooth vocals starting it off make this a win for me.
Jaclyn Guys…. I’m sorry, but I literally hate this song. I mean, I’ll listen to it and when Nick sings “I’ve been all around, all around the world” I do a little girly giggle thing for no reason other than it’s Nick Carter leading a chorus – but I can’t with this one. BUT… plus points for Howie and Kevin leading it! Let’s get them some better material folks!

The song that caused the fight in the BSB Documentary! LOL now this song mainly makes me think of Nick screaming “You shut the fuck up!” at Brian. But it’s catchy. Okay Brian might have a point in the chorus being a bit sing-songy. But I can dig it. I always find myself singing along to it and bopping my head so that can’t be a bad thing.
SagarThis is one song I never really got into. Typical pop song, but it has an interesting war analogy. Definitely a song I rarely listen to on this album.
Jaclyn I’m with Rose, I’m shocked that this was the song that created so much tension. I love Nick to death but this was not a ‘you’ll regret it if you leave this song off the album’ song. This was a ‘I wrote this for the last album cycle 3 years ago and am still mad no one let me put it on our cd’ song. Kudos to Kaos for not giving up on it, but I’ve never loved this track. I liked the drums and the chorus is catchy, though.

Bonus Tracks!

Light On
Rose WHY WASN’T THIS ON THE ALBUM?! Why Boys?! Why!?! This is the only b-side that baffles my mind on this album cycle. The vocals are amazing, it has some awesome harmonies, and the song is upbeat, getting in your head. I can rave about “Light On” forever. I don’t understand why this song was only released in Japan. I just don’t. Who failed here?! Is there someone in management I can blame for this?
Sagar This doesn’t sound like a standard BSB song. Catchy and could have made a good replacement for Soldier.
Jaclyn I DON’T KNOW WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR LEAVING THIS OFF THE ALBUM BUT I HAVE A VOODOO DOLL READY AND WAITING. Seriously, one of their best and catchiest dance tracks. Ever. LOVE this song. Bring it back! Perform this one! PLEASE!

Hot Hot Hot
How? WHY? How? Like I honestly don’t know how this song happened. It’s like they were kidnapped and forced onto an island into slavery. And all they can do is sing songs for elderly tourists so they can feel like they’re in a tropical paradise. I love you Boys. I do. I just. I want to laugh so hard when I hear this song. Mainly cause it creates images of Brian trying to do the hula in drag. Why Brian? Hell if I know. You’d think it’d be AJ.
Sagar I haven’t listened to this in a LONG time. When it came out I thought it was a fun song: nice music and instruments, weird lyrics! But it quickly lost its glitter for me. May have replaced Soldier as a distinct choice, but that’s all.
Jaclyn What song am I supposed to be reviewing right now..? Hot, Hot, Hot; you say? Oh… yeah. I pretend this one doesn’t exist. Like… I’d listen to Rub-A-Dub-Dub over this.

Gemma – I think this song is BOSS! *runs away*

(Thank you my co-mod, Gemma, for an example of a fan who loves this song 😛 – Rose)

Take Care
This song is an angst fest. It’s the kind you expect when things feel kind of hopeless. Jack and Rose from Titanic are sort of the personification of this song. We all want someone to take care of us. It’s different from the type of songs they do, the person behind this song was a fan of the Boys if I remember correctly and it shows. A-plus material. But I can see why it got left off – it doesn’t fit the vibe of the album.
Sagar Again, another song which sounds atypical, and my personal favorite among the unreleased songs. This definitely belongs on the album. The chorus sounds somewhat like a melodic Hindi film song or a Buddhist incantation. Lyrics aren’t too bad either.
Jaclyn This song makes me hate other songs on the album that I wouldn’t hate otherwise (Permanent Stain, Trust Me, Solider, and One Phone Call) because it’s SO much better. The track sounds nothing like a BSB song and the vocals are so freaking good. This one and Light On belonged on this album. I must sound repetitive but Kevin’s vocals on the second verse? Lord have mercy! I feel like after 7 years without him I kinda deserve to gloat – what an awesome vocalist. More songs like this please.

In Your Arms
This song is pure cheese. It’s not bad. I mean Love Somebody was pure cheese too. But this song is definitely more This Is Us material. It doesn’t suit this album at all and I’m curious as to how it happened lol. It’s dancey and along the vibes of Straight Through My Heart. It’s in its rightful place as a b-side.
Sagar It’s a standard pop song, with standard pop lyrics and music. Easily interchangeable with Soldier in my opinion, so didn’t really make a difference to me whether it was on or off the album.
Jaclyn If you switched this one out with Love Somebody, I do think the album gets a bit better. I agree with Sagar that there’s not much depth here and also with Rose that it’s very dancey and kind of Straight Through My Heart-esque, but I think the production on this track is particularly good. I also like Brian/Howie’s parts and the way the chorus just moves so quickly.

So what do you think about the album now that it’s been about two years? Has the newness worn off enough that you feel more objective about the music than you did back when it first released? Do you love it just as much as you did then? Do you wish they’d pushed the boundaries more, like Kevin said they could have? Or were you happy with their first “indie” album?

Let us know in our discussion thread at The Dark Side Forum!

(Also…Stay tuned for an IAWLT themed post featuring your favorite memories from the tour! It’s coming from my friend Sara at her fantastic blog, What Happens On The Backstreet! Though I’m sure you visit the place daily like we do 🙂 )

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