The Backstreet Boys have spent the last two years mining nostalgia with their hits-filled Larger Than Life Las Vegas residency. But the album they’ve been working on in that time – DNA, the group’s 10th LP – is proof that they haven’t entirely been living in the past.
As evidenced with the album’s lead single, the pounding “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” DNA stays true to BSB’s harmony-driven pop sound while evolving their production to fit today’s radio landscape (and it worked so well, it earned the group their first Grammy nomination in 17 years and first Pop Songs hit in 11 years). That evolution carries throughout the rest of DNA’s 12 tracks, while also presenting Backstreet Boys’ most diverse set yet, with hints of R&B, country and funk.
DNA feels like the Backstreet Boys’ most mindful attempt to appeal to an audience that’s broader than the '80s and '90s babies who have carried their boy band obsessions into the 2010s. Though DNA may not be so transportive that it'll make people forget it's 2019 and not 1999, BSB were clearly looking to broaden their horizons -- from recruiting fresher cowriters (“Chances” was co-written by Shawn Mendes and Ryan Tedder; “Just Like You Like It” was co-written by Dustin Lynch and country juggernaut Ross Copperman) to incorporating a brass section on the playful “Passionate." And it works.