New Kids on the Block: 10 – Review

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One of the reasons Take That's comeback has been a record-breaker is that they have in their ranks a songwriter who has matured into a purveyor of elegant, grownup pop.

New Kids on the Block, now on their second album since reuniting in 2008, aren't so lucky. They're a personality-driven outfit (remember the antics of naughty old Donnie Wahlberg?) who rely on outside songwriting help, in this case Danish team DeeKay.

The result is a muddle of mid-2000s electro (such as Crash, which is splashed with RedOne-style Auto-Tune), bubblegum-urban modelled on their early hits (Now or Never) and conveyor-belt ballads (take your pick from half a dozen, which condense romantic relationships into snippets such as: "You're the oxygen I breathe, you're running through my veins").

Only the lilting closer, Survive You – co-written by two members of JLS, oddly enough – makes proper use of their core strength: the ability to harmonise like a traditional Boston streetcorner band. It would be good to hear more of that next time.

Powered by article was written by Caroline Sullivan, for The Guardian on Thursday 28th March 2013 23.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010