3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like the Backstreet Boys

OK, we get it. The Backstreet Boys are a bit of an easy target. A quintet of falsetto-singing pretty faces who rose to fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s singing bubble gum pop songs for high school students. Are they a contrived pop group created only for marketing and money? Or are they serious artists with the voices of angels?

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Wherever you land on that question, one thing is clear: The guys can really sing. And there’s a reason why they were one of the most popular groups at the turn of the 21st century, even beyond their handsome faces and commercialism. Here below, we wanted to explore a trio of tracks that showcase the band. These are three songs for people who say they don’t like the Backstreet Boys.

[RELATED: 8 Great Boy Bands and Girl Groups of the “Boy Band and Girl Group Decade,” the ’90s]

“Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” from Backstreet’s Back (1997)

This sticky pop hit that makes listeners get up and dance was officially released in 1997 after it had already been getting prominent airplay. Peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song features a Halloween haunted house-themed music video. And it remains one of those songs, at least for people of a certain generation, that can be recalled after just one word: Everyyyyboooddddyyy! The lively offering begins,

Oh my God, we’re back again
Brothers, sisters, everybody sing
Gonna bring the flavor, show you how
Got a question for you, better answer now, yeah

“I Want It that Way” from Millennium (1999)

Opening with a plucked acoustic guitar, this love ballad is about how passionate the singer feels for his romantic interest. Nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Song and Record of the Year, this track is also immediately recognizable from a short bit of lyric: Telllll Meeee Whyyyyeee! For those who grew up on MTV’s Total Request Live, this tune, which hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, was synonymous with youth. The track opens,

You are my fire
The one desire
Believe when I say
I want it that way

But we are two worlds apart
Can’t reach to your heart
When you say
That I want it that way

Tell me why
Ain’t nothing but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain’t nothing but a mistake
Tell me why
I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way

“Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)” from Backstreet Boys (1996)

Another love song, this track is all about two romantically involved people getting on the same page. As the title suggests, the singer wants to get real with their prospective partner and no longer play silly flirtatious games. Released on the group’s debut self-titled LP, this track hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. All in all, it’s a cutesy song meant for young teenagers. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing really wrong with that. Young emotions need outlets, too. The tune opens,

Even in my heart, I see
You’re not being true to me
Deep within my soul, I feel
Nothing’s like it used to be

Sometimes I wish I could turn back time
Impossible as it may seem
But I wish I could so bad, baby

Quit playing games with my heart

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Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

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