As we move closer to the 30th anniversary of Backstreet Boys, we’ve explored various eras in Backstreet history. We are now in the Never Gone Era of BSB. Did you know that before BSB recorded and released Never Gone in June, 2006, they recorded enough songs to have released a rather robust R&B album?
Let’s imagine for a minute that BSB had put out that R&B album…what would we have gotten? Did you know that many (maybe all?) of the songs they recorded in that timeframe are available online? Let’s take a listen to those that we believed would have been on that album and see what possible live performances we missed out on…
All in this Together: This song is a different type of love song. It’s not about romantic relationships, but it is about living in harmony with one another. They seem to be pleading with the listener to find ways to live in kindness and realize what life is truly about: love.
Can We Get Back to Love Again: Slow tempo love songs are definitely the boys forte. This one is no different. I will admit, it is a little bland for my taste. With the melodic sound, it’s a little too slow and doesn’t have any big touches that hook me. For me, it makes sense this one didn’t make the cut.
Color My World: This song is reminiscent of some Beatles songs with the music and pace of the song. I like this song, mostly because we get a rare Kevin lead, and it’s no surprise he sounds amazing.
Dance (Set it Off): This is possibly one of my all-time favorite BSB songs ever, released, unreleased, whatever. I love it! It is such a great dance song and the lyrics are sexy and fun. I love the beat! This song also has another version with a heavier beat that sounds awesome as well. This one should’ve made an album…
Divine Intervention: In previous interviews, the boys have shared that they had a number of influences when they were working on this album. Brian talked about Gospel producers working with them on some of these as well. This song definitely has a gospel feel with a pull on divine help to improve life circumstances. The song seems like a call for help to not only help their own lives, but the world as a whole.
Don’t Disturb the Groove: Flashbacks to Hey Mr. DJ come to me when I hear this one. The beat is almost a mix of R&B and reggae (a very toned down version of reggae). It’s a fun mid-tempo track that they could’ve really had fun with live.
Forces of Nature: I’m a big fan of the feel of this song. I love the lyrics and I really enjoy the way the boys sounds on this one. Their voices really work well with the strings and percussion on this one.
Last Night You Saved My Life: This one is a Nick heavy song, so naturally, as a self-proclaimed Nick girl, I’m a big fan. Also…the lyrics are awesome and I love the mid-tempo, yet sexy feel. For those that picked up the DualDisc (in the U.S.), CD with a bonus DVD (in most countries) or the tour edition of Never Gone, this was featured on the DVD.
Let’s Do It For Love: Alright… I’m just gonna say it… Way too much cheese on this one for me. I will say, any song, or Kevin has a solo is usually one of my favorites. But the lyrics on this one are just a little too much for me. The first time I heard the song was in preparation for this post, so maybe if I’d heard it back in the day? But for now, thankful this one didn’t make an album.
Lift Me Up: I absolutely adore this one. I will say it’s less of an R&B feel and more of a rock type… OK maybe light rock type song. It could’ve definitely been on the Never Gone album with the vibe I get from it.
Love Is: One of my favorites of the unreleased! I will admit, some of the lyrics are also a little cheesy on this one, but it’s just enough to hit the spot. I really like this one, and enjoy that 90s slowjam feel.
Love Knows I Love You: This one feels like a traditional BSB love song. The boys sharing how much they love their partner, who seems to be less invested or unsure of their relationship.
Loving You: Have to admit, this one is a little slow for me. It has some pretty harmonies, but the cheesiness of the message is a little much for me. Understandable how this one did not make an album.
Memories: Something about AJ‘s vocals on this one just give me the feels. He kills it on this, although he does on most things anyway. I love when they give each of the boys a solo, but on this one, Kevin has six words. C’mon! Do him a solid! He sounded great on those six words…
Money: This one is just a clip that we got. If you listen to it, you’ll very likely find it familiar… a remake that the boys do pretty well on. I like the way they play with the vocals and again, how AJ takes that strong lead.
Movin’ On: Another Howie D solo! And this one even starts with Howie! This song also has a ton of harmonies and sounds almost like a Doo Wop type song. I think this one could’ve easily been done acapella and it really has minimal instrumentation as it is, so it highlights the boys voices well. This is another one that was featured on the tour edition of Never Gone.
Not No More: This one really reminds me of the 90’s R&B type slow jams that I used to obsess over back in the day. It does seem a little out of character for the boys when I really listen to the lyrics, but I do like the song.
Over Her: This song is one of my favorites of these unreleased and even features some of the old school talking to introduce the song, this time from Brian. We also get to hear some beautiful Howie D falsetto. A pretty song about lost love and how to move on.
Rush Over Me: I love the beginning of this song which has a really beautiful guitar intro. The whole song has some really cool musical effects and it really adds to the feel of the song as a whole. There are a couple of versions of this one, one that speeds it up just a touch. Any version-this would’ve been a fantastic video… fans did get a peek of this one because it was a featured song on the tour edition of Never Gone or as a bonus track.
Song for the Unloved: The last of the songs featured on the tour edition of Never Gone or as a bonus track, Song for the Unloved pulls at the heartstrings. There are a couple of versions of this one, and I am a much bigger fan of the uptempo mix. The slower version is a little bit sadder, even though the words are exactly the same. This one though, it has some funky beats to it that I really like.
Tell Me: I didn’t remember this song before, but as soon as it came on I realized I had heard it. It reminds me of another song from the 90’s, but I can’t put my finger on it (still!). It’s an ok beat, not my favorite, but something I could’ve seen on an album.
Welcome to My Heart: Where has this gem been? This is the first time I’ve heard this song, and I got to say, why we gotta cheat Howie out of all of his starring roles!? He kills this so hard! And imagine this in an acoustic set… This was definitely a missed opportunity.