Backstreet Boy heartthrob Nick Carter takes his first solo steps with a solid collection that positions him to the rock left of his group's more rhythm-spiked pop center.

Backstreet Boy heartthrob Nick Carter takes his first solo steps with a solid collection that positions him to the rock left of his group's more rhythm-spiked pop center. Though no one will mistake the singer for Fred Durst, it's a move that works well for Carter, who has developed a convincing rasp over time. While he excels on anthemic, guitar-anchored fare like "Blow Your Mind" and "I Stand for You," the singer hedges his bets by including a handful of Total Request Live-ready ballads—most notably the hit-worthy "Do I Have to Cry for You," on which he also reveals palpable songwriting potential. The most important aspect of Now or Never, though, is that it affirms Carter's formidable charisma and his capability to hold a listener's attention on his own. To that end, his solo future should prove to be golden.—LF

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print