Backstreet Boys’ ‘Millennium’ is still iconic as ever

On May 18th, 1999, the Backstreet Boys gave the world an album would become one of the top selling albums of all time. It’s the 20th anniversary of their second album “Millennium.” Now, I originally “reviewed” this album back in the day. That review sucked and I’m calling redo. Welcome to Pop Project Redux.

yep, it’s this album

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I’ll be the one, I’ll be the light

Millennium was released on May 19th, 1999. It was the highly anticipated follow up to their 1996/1997 debut album. Fun fact: Backstreet released three different first album. Two was for international fans in 1996 and 1997. The one we know in the States was in 1997 and was just made up of the other two. Because of this, “Millennium” is their third or second album depending on where you live. The album had Max Martin write and produce many of the songs on the album. In case you forgot, Max Martin the Swedish pop god.

This album starts off with “Larger Than Life” and I could not have thought of a better way to start off this album. One downside is the album is that’s extremely front-loaded. Three of the four singles are the first three songs in on the album. This more than likely wasn’t planned out this way but even so, the flow of the album. Going from a high intense song “Larger Than Life” to two slower bops like “I Want It That Way” and “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.” It’s not just like a gradually slow down. It just stops and kicks into the slow jams. It then kicks back into the dance banger right after. I’m not sure if it is attentionally but it just hurts the pacing of the album.

The album also ends on rather a weird note. The final song on the album is called “The Perfect Fan.” It’s a song about their mothers and thanks to them for all being there. It’s a sweet song but it’s just awkward. There are a chorus and full orchestra backing. This would have been better in the middle of the album and not at the end. Simply rearranging the track list would make it a little better when it comes to flow.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this album is pop perfection beside its flow and being a heavily front loaded album. That is easily made up for by how good the songs are. Even the filler songs are extremely well done. The vocals are what we come to expect from the boys. This album is what everyone thinks of when think of boy bands and Backstreet boys.

“Millennium” is the definition of the 90’s boy bands music. While it’s the flow of the album hurts every song after track three, every song on the album is worth the listening to because it’s the pop perfection. The songs are what makes up for the flow on the album. I cannot tell you how much good this album is. It’s one of those albums. I highly recommending listening to this album. I listened to it this weekend and still enjoyed everything about it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Does Ariana Grande’s ‘Santa Tell Me’ still hold up 4 years later?

All I Want For Christmas is a man

Welcome to Ariana Fridays! Every Friday leading up to Christmas, I’ll be review Ariana Grande Christmas catalog. She happens to have two EPs and  one single. Nothing brings Christmas cheer like Ariana Grande.

Back in 2014, I reviewed Ariana Grande’s Christmas jingle “Santa Tell Me.” I gave that a 2 candy canes out of 5. I thought it was cute to rate things based on items that have to do with that. I’m glad I no longer do that. I thought it was a good idea to actually re-review what one Ariana Grande fan has called a “holiday bop.” Was I too harsh on the song or was I right along? Welcome to the Pop Project Redux, where I re-review things because I’m out of ideas for content. 

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Now when I first reviewed “Santa Tell Me,” I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t a good review. I spent more time complaining about the fact that Christmas themed song is overly done than actually tell you about the single. It’s not something that I would post today unless it’s for the video of the song. 

“Santa Tell Me” was released as a stand-alone Christmas song from Ms. Grande, Miss Butera is you’re nasty, in the US. It was included in Ariana’s Christmas EP “Christmas Kisses” in the land of the rising sun Japan. Click the link under a winking Ariana for that review. Ariana has been weird when it comes to Christmas music. It’s like she wants to release some but yet she doesn’t. I just waiting for the studio version of her cover of “All I Want For Christmas is You.”

The song itself isn’t a bad song. It’s your standard Ariana Grande song.  It has a catchy beat. It’s pretty much talking about asking Santa for a man for Christmas but not getting your hopes up in case Santa can’t fit another human down a chimney.  She wants a man that care and not like the past men in her life. It’s kind of bland lyrics. Like who ask Santa Claus for a man? 

The lyrics hold back the song. If it was a little less cheery, then it would make sense but the tone of the lyrics and the beat doesn’t mes well. The lyrics are deep but the fact that it’s on a Christmas song make them bland. This topic would have been better handled as a non-Christmas song.  It would have been able to get deep and the depth it should have gotten. 

It sounds like Miss Butera is trying to create something you will listen to all year round but it falls short. It feels like a rushed and like they were just trying to put it out to capitalize and boost sales for “Christmas Kisses.” It is a bop but not a bop like all the other bops she has put out. The video for “Santa Tell Me” does make it 100% better. It doesn’t fit the song lyrically but does it fit the beat and is adorable. It’s pretty much just Ariana and her friends having fun and spreading Christmas cheer around her house. 

Verdict

“Santa Tell Me” is an attempt to be a holiday classic but it falls short. Unless you are a hardcore Ariana Grande fan, you will probably enjoy when it comes on but it probably won’t be something you will remember to play every Christmas. I do recommend listening to it at least once or twice. It is a quality listen. I would watch the video while listening to it just for the fact it makes it more enjoyable. It’s an enjoyable song either way but more enjoyable with the visuals.

Also, make sure you listen take a listen to the Japanese version, it’s dirtier. There’s talks of mounting and someone unwrapping her. It’s worth the listen for a dirty Christmas song.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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‘Rise’ shined bright but fell like a shooting star during it’s first season

Don’t Stop Believin’ until your Totally Fucked

When I originally reviewed the NBC television, “Rise,” I gave it a 3 out of 5 and called it a gritty reboot of “Glee.” Now that its first, and only, season is over. I thought it was time to give some final thoughts on “Rise” now that I have seen all the episodes. It’s time to talk about “Rise.”

The show follows a new teacher and his drama club as they put on a controversial play in a conservative town in Pennsylvania. As they get ready to perform “Spring Awakening,” the show also covers all the crap that is going on in their lives. Sexual Abuse, self-acceptance, living in a foster home, teen pregnancy, and just living in a small mind town is what this show covered. 

“Rise” improved after the first episode. It grew and improved to stand on its own two feet and not just be a gritty reboot of “Glee.” It’s rather unfortunate that “Rise” won’t be returning for a second season. I understand and get why but this is the kind of show that is needed. It was extremely depression for most of the episodes. And most of the character had to grow on you. I didn’t like the main teacher until the very last episode. The only characters I truly liked from start to finish was Simon and Gordy.

The storylines for the show was stereotypical and predictable to a certain degree. By the time they turned away from being stereotypical, you got uninterested in them. I do give them props for the way they handled their LGBTQA storylines. They were handled in a way that wasn’t expected and done before on TV, especially on network television. I was invested in them and I would like to know what happened to them after it all ended.

I think if “Rise” didn’t start to find its footing until halfway in, there probably would be a second season. But it lost people with the lack of interesting storylines in the beginning. “Rise” wasn’t a bad show. It was just one that was ahead of its time. I hope there is a chance that it will get saved because I would like to know what is happened after the finale. The finale was depressing. It wasn’t the way that the show should have ended.

The Verdict

“Rise” is a good show. It just took too long to get good. By the time it did, it was too late. I do recommend the show if you are just looking for something to watch. It’s only 10 episodes so it won’t eat up a lot of your time. I only improved my rating by .5 just because it suffered from growing pains and it was bad.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Redux: Sexlena Gomez is what’s Good For You in this re-release

g4u redux

Welcome to the first ever Pop Project Redux! It’s where I take the original review and well, re-release it…or something like that. Today, Selena Gomez re-released her music video for “Good For You” now featuring the A$AP Rocky in it! Check out our redux review of it! Here is the original review.

Sexlena is back in her newest music video for her single “Good For You.” This music video is probably one of the sexual videos that Selena has done during her musical career.

So here’s the synopsis: She’s rolling around on the floor singing, then she’s rolling around of the couch singing before she starts to sing in the shower. Just when you think she’s getting comfortable, she moves to the outside world where she’s not wearing pants and sitting on a stool singing. Then she pretty much reenact sitting on top of someone and having a good time while singing before she tells us how good for you she is. So pretty much, she’s trying to seduce like the seductress she is.

The music video is ehh. I like how it’s just focusing on just Selena and totally removes her song partner, but I feel like it’s just her moping around her house being all anti-social and depressed, which is so 2008 btw. Don’t get me wrong, I like the more mature side of seleners, but give me more than just you rolling around on the floor and in the shower.

The video also features A$AP rocky just creeping in the background. The really sad part of this is the editing because it feels like they just rushed to put him in the video. The only plus to this is that his verse is now very explicit (yes, we have a explicit Selena Gomez song!) and that we get to see new shots of Selena being sexual. It also reminds me of Mac Miller’s part in the video for Ariana Grande’s “The Way.” I didn’t like that either.

Overall, it’s a like the song, and not the best music video. It could have been a tad bit better but it is what it is. They really should have left it at just one video for the song and not like 2 different version of it. I would go with the explicit version I had to pick my favorite out of the two.

Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure:

Rating: 3.5 Justin Bieber shrines out of 5