Backstreet Boys fact: "I Want it That Way" was written by Swedish pop mastermind Max Martin, for whom English is his second language, and it really shows. The lyrics make no sense. Dudes, I often find myself thinking when listening to this masterpiece (which is often) often, You want what *what* way?
The Boys and their producers tried to change the words to something that didn't sound like ESL gibberish, but they found that any adjustments to Martin's original, nonsensical lyrics ate away at the singalong factor. So in the end, they just went with it.
They made the right choice. It's impossible not to sing along to "I Want It That Way", as evidenced by the El Paso Rhinos of the Western States Hockey League. Feast your eyes and ears, my friends, on this display of unbridled joy:
(Blocked on copyright grounds! Thanks for nothing, music industry.)
It's just wisdom for coach and GM Cory Herman to keep his postgame speech short and turn things over to the BSB. Nothing he could say is going to fill them with the glee of the best boy band the 90s had to offer.
(Yes, I said best. Don't you dare counter with 'N Sync. They were hardly a boy band. They were one super-talented guy and four backing vocalists. BSB was a truer ensemble and everybody knows it.)
I can't get enough of how happy this song makes these guys. I mean, sure, you could argue their glee is because they just won a contest over the Texas Junior Brahmas by a score of 7-0. But I'm of the mind that they'd be just as happy either way, because "I Want It That Way" is just a damn good song.
These guys know it, too. This isn't some ironic singing. This is an all-out performance from a room full of dudes that know they're jamming out to greatness -- especially from floppy-haired Chris Wilhite, who was born to do this. Look at that salad. Look at that charisma. Give this guy some shiny pants, a flame shirt and some goggles and he's ready to go.
He also knows when to let someone else have a turn, like when he cedes the floor to left winger David Nelson for Kevin Richardson's mournful bridge. Now I can see that we've fallen apart, from the way that it used to be. (I was so delighted when he returned to the group. They missed his steadying, low harmonies. He was always the dad of the group, even vocally.)
And look at these guys nail that building crescendo into the final, climactic chorus. (Admittedly, I'm a little disappointed no one attempted A.J.'s big vocal run to close things out, but you can't have it all.)
This is the best thing. We eagerly await the next BSB karaoke jam from the Rhinos.
"Backstreet's Back" is the logical follow-up, but I say they go off the board and tackle late-period masterpiece, "Incomplete".
Stick-tap Patsy P.
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- Backstreet Boys
- Max Martin