30th Apr2008

Possible Boyband Revival, Chris Brown, and Last Call

by Will

“Fat people are harder to kidnap”

Can you feel it in the air? It’s coming! What, pray tell? The Boyband Revival!

If you remember, these fads occur in cycles. Around 1986, we had New Kids on the Block. They lasted for about 4 years and it fell apart. Then, around ’96, Backstreet Boys finally hit it big (after a false start in ’94 – the world wasn’t ready yet), followed by ‘NSYNC, with both groups tearin’ up the charts and our hearts. While they were on top, a few New Kids came back (Joey, Jordan), while the main boybanders begat a slew of imitators (O-Town, 911, SoulDecision, Youngstown, LMNT, Natural, 5ive, Take 5, C-Note and the list goes on and on). Now, here we are, in 2008, and we’ve got the return of NKOTB, rumors of a 5ive reunion across the pond, and this little tidbit I found today:


That’s right, boyband manager extraordinaire, Johnny Wright, is at it again with BANDEMONIUM, a national tour featuring Menudo, NLT, Glowb and V Factory (God, I hope V Factor is comprised of a bunch of virgins – what a clever gimmick!). The only recognizable group is Menudo, and that’s because of that craptacular Making-the-Band style show on MTV last year where the group was created. This kind of event, however, is how Backstreet Boys got big. Lou Pearlman held a bunch of Transcontinental Records showcases, and this propelled the Backstreet Boys to international stardom. Sure, there were other groups (Solid HarmoniE, LFO, Innosense – if you ever want to see all of Lou’s acts in one place, track down a DVD copy of Longshot, as it was part of their contracts to appear in some way, shape or form) but they had to fail so that BSB could succeed. Out of these 4 boybands listed for Bandemonium, 3 of them ain’t gonna make it. But I can feel it in the air: bubblegum pop is almost back, and I couldn’t be happier! The Jonas Brothers just kind of reopened the door: the boyband that plays their own instruments. Pretty soon, though, the “Hannah Montana Generation” is going to demand choreographed dancing, frosted tips, and Burger King CD giveaways. It’ll be great to hear something not produced by Timbaland, and not featuring T-Pain or Akon. And, oh, what a glorious day that will be!

What is with “Love In This Club Pt II”? They took a hot song and just made it boring. Did Beyonce really need to be invited to this party?

Has anyone seen the video for Jordin Sparks’s “No Air”? What is that all about? She & Chris Brown would have air if they weren’t wasting it, screaming at each other! He’s right in front of you, in that hoodie he always wears. What are you screaming about, Jordin? Stop yelling in Chris Brown’s face like that!

Speaking of Chris Brown, I really like that dude. I was in JT’s corner, but as his star rose, he got a little too smug for my tastes (plus, it didn’t help that he slept with every woman on the average male’s “dream list”). Chris, on the other hand, seems so down-to-earth, even in spite the neck tattoo and that hoodie he never takes off. Chris Brown is like your pretty boy cousin that you only see at the family reunion. His mom is going on and on about, “Chris just made the basketball team”, and your aunt comes in and says something like, “Mmm, that boy is gonna be a heartbreaker, with his good-lookin’ self!” And Chris just smiles and says something like, “Well, you know…” And you sit there, thinking, “I wish someone thought I was a heartbreaker…”

I thought Chris had a new track until I found out it was Jesse McCartney. Anybody heard “Leavin'” yet? I’ve got to give it to Jesse – he took his “beautiful soul” underground for a few years, and I really think it helped his creativity. Well, that and puberty. A lot of people don’t realize he wrote Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love”, collaborating with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (sidenote: I really think Ryan Tedder’s going to be the David Foster of our generation. He’s just getting started, and he’s going to be prolific as Hell!). Jesse’s releasing his version as a hidden track on his new CD, Departure. Having heard his version, I’ll say it’s different, but I still like it. Leona simply sells the vocals, while Jesse sells the lyrics.

How is Chloe Lattanzi still on Rock the Cradle? Seriously, who is she pleasuring with those amazing lips of hers?

Still not watching Idol, but I caught the mp3 of David Cook’s “Always Be My Baby”. That’s gotta be the best reinterpretation of a song since Clapton’s unplugged “Layla”. Yeah, it’s that good.

In closing, I spent last weekend @ Cornell, taking in the spring show of my boys, my family, Last Call. When I was in that group, it was always my hope to go down in history as, maybe, one of the Top 20 soloists in LC. Unfortunately for me, the group just gets better and better, quickly knocking me off that list. I shall one day simply be a footnote in their existence. Maybe I’ll make the list for Top 20 Black soloists in LC. Either way, I’m proud of them, as they truly kick ass. I’ve got to say, though, nothing wakes you up quite like this quote, which was said to me at the afterparty: “Oh my God, I had such a crush on you when I was twelve.” Yeah, apparently, I’m that old now…