Backstreet Boys’ ‘Incomplete’ is still underrated banger

With the reunion of *NSYNC, I’ve been kind of a boy band/90s pop music mood lately. Because of this, I’ve re-discovered many classics that I wouldn’t have if I would have stayed in my “current era” little bubble. One of those classics is frankly underrated single from the greatest boy band in the history of mankind, Backstreet Boys. So let’s talk about “Incomplete” and why you should love it.

I’m awake but my world is half asleep

“Incomplete” was released in April of 2005. It came after the boys took two years off from making music as a quintet. It was from their fourth album “Never Gone.” It was a massive departure from their previous pop style. “Incomplete” was a more mature pop-rock ballad than a teen pop bop. Don’t get me wrong, the song is a bop. But it’s a far cry from songs like “Larger Than Life” and “As Long As You Love Me.” The more mature vibe that was given in “Black & Blue” was finalized with this song. It’s set the tone perfectly for what their sound would be be for “Never Gone.”

This song is extremely well done and produced. The instrumental track behind the vocals was just simply amazing. Starting with the piano and then kicking in with more of an orchestral feel after the first chorus. AJ and Nick shared the lead vocals and honestly, it works so well. Their voices blend so well together. You really don’t get the full backing of the group until the middle of the song right after AJ sings “I don’t want to make you face this world alone.”

The video itself is extremely well produced. Every shot has a meaning and just tells the story the really amazing lyrics. It seems that each member has their own element. These elements come out as the boys are just hanging out in the desert at an abandon gas station. Brian is water, Nick is the fire, Howie D is rain, Kevin is the snow, and AJ is the sun. I’ll give them a break that some of these elements are the same and/or just weather. The video is still just beautiful.

“Incomplete” is one of the many reasons that the Backstreet Boys have been able to stay around for how they have. If you have not listened to any of their music after their hiatus, then you are missing out. I highly recommend checking out “Incomplete” as well as their other work after. You won’t be disappointed at all.

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Mötley Crüe teams up with Machine Gun Kelly for ‘The Dirt’

On Friday, February 22nd, glam metal/rock band Mötley Crüe released their first new song since 2015. The song is off of the soundtrack for their Netflix biographical film “The Dirt.” You might be thinking to yourself, “Why are we talking about a rock song on a site that has pop in its title?” My answer to that is I do what I want and I cover pop culture. Nothing screams pop culture like a Netflix biographical film. I’m glad it’s not on Lifetime.

Let’s take it to the top and watch it burn

“The Dirt (Est. 1981)” is a fast pace, in your face, catchy hard rock/glam metal song. It starts off slow and eery before really kicking into high gear. I really like the opening riff. It was just something cool. It’s honestly just something that you just can’t help but rock out to. Vince Neil’s vocals are still just as good. Everything about this song was just well-produced. The best part for me was Mick Mars’ solo. Dude is almost 70 and he can play guitar better than guitarist half his age. As their first song back, “The Dirt (Est. 1981)” didn’t disappoint. The video is just scenes from the movie and them performing the song in the studio. It’s a promo video.

When you look that it’s a Mötley Crüe song with Rapper Machine Gun Kelly on it, you are expecting it to royally suck. It’s two things that really shouldn’t go together. But it actually goes together really well. Like I couldn’t even tell that it was MGK at first. He blended in so well that it was a perfect fit. No matter what music genre, when you have rappers as feature artists on songs, its either hit or miss. A lot of times, it’s a miss. It’s just awkward and out of place. Luckily, it isn’t this time.

The song is off of the soundtrack for the movie. The soundtrack is pretty much the greatest hit album with three original songs. There’s also a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” I’m honestly interested to see what the cover sounds like. As for the movie itself, I’m skeptical of it. I think it will be good but I don’t think it going to great. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

Verdict

“The Dirt (Est. 1981)” is a very good example of how Mötley Crüe hasn’t really missed a step after their four-year hiatus. It’s a catchy, addictive and just rocks out hard. Machine Gun Kelly also just kills with his part. Does it rank up there as their best single? Nope but that’s okay. It doesn’t need to be. It’s can still be a good song without having to be the best single. The soundtrack and the movie “The Dirt” will be released on Friday, March 22.

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Movie Review: ‘Harriet the Spy’

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Oh, I remember fondly of the 1990s movies, especially the ones that were made from Nickelodeon. Those VHS tapes were orange and you weren’t anyone unless you had a couple of orange tapes in your collection. One of the first movies made by Nickelodeon was “Harriet the Spy.”

Released in 1996, “Harriet the Spy” was an adaptation to the book series of the same name. It also introduced the world to Michelle Trachtenberg, the girl who would go on to be the whiny brat that will end the world in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and a bitch on “Gossip Girl” (who isn’t a bitch on that show, am I right?). The movie also introduced children to Rosie O’ Donnell, who was/is still the face of the Kids Choice Awards for many. Rosie hosted the award show from 1996 until 2004.

The movie follows Harriet M. Welsch (Trachtenberg), an inspiring writer that literally creeps on people and writes down what she observes because her nanny Golly (O’Donnell) told her that she needs to write down everything if she wants to become a great writer. Everything is good in her life until her nanny is fired and her life is turned upside down. Harriet must overcome and adapt to the changes to her life as her parent’s think she is crazy, friend’s turned on her, and she doesn’t have the support system of Golly.

The movie itself isn’t a bad movie at all when you take out the nostalgia. It was cleverly written so that parents/adults will enjoy it while still catering to their child demographic. It’s also a kids movie that doesn’t suffer from any major plot/storytelling issues. Usually it suffers from “how does this happen?” But it doesn’t occur here. Everything happens in the real world. The outcome and the cause and effects of the actions are how they would actually happen in the real world. The only real thing that wouldn’t happen is Harriet pretty much getting off without any trouble for terrorizing her classmates. She cuts off a classmates ponytail and nothing happened to her at school.

As an adult, this movie is an extremely fucked up movie, which is why it’s the perfect kids movie. Golly is allowing Harriet to commit several crimes like breaking an entering and stalking. I totally understand and okay if it was in a public place, but some of these are just wrong. Like at one point, she’s starting into a store from the back alley and watching one of her friends have struggle to buy groceries. How is that okay? Golly is also the one that tells her to write down all of her observations which are just sometimes mean and cruel. She rudely wrote about how her friend’s father should just get a “real job.” Her white privilege shows so bad. Harriet has carves a hit list style list of all the people she “wants to get revenge.” I’m very shocked this is kids movie.

Where the movie fails is with some of the adult acting and how the adults were written. The only good adult was Golly, who had slightly questionable morals. An example of this was Harriet’s teacher. There’s a scene where a girl spills paint on Harriet on purpose. The teacher thinks the children are being helpful by grabbing paper towels but it’s very obvious that they are spreading paint around and making it worse. Another example of this is when the parent’s instruct the teacher to make sure Harriet doesn’t have her notebook when at school. The teacher literally pats her down in the middle of class, which no one would do because it’s demeaning and embarrassing. It’s stuff like that hurts the movie. Especially when everything else is true to real life.

“Harriet the Spy” is a classic movie that will bring on full nostalgia trips. The movie is well done in most aspects, especially when it comes to making the kids movie also appeal to adults with the writing. The writing and acting of the adult characters/actors is what hurts the film. It’s the most unbelievable part of the film that is based in real-time and does it well.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Unreleased single review: “Sad Serenade” by Selena Gomez

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One of the most beloved songs off of her debut solo album “Stars Dance,” “Sad Serenade” is an unreleased song that many have wondered why Selena Gomez didn’t include it. So I thought that it was time this #MemoriesCureMondays to review this song that is I believe is a missed opportunity for a single. It’s time to reminisce about our own Sad Serenade with what never was.

“Sad Serenade” follows the EDM/europop style that is pretty much present throughout “Stars Dance.” The arrangement of the song is something that is rather addictive. The beat is catchy and just makes you want to dance. This contradicts the lyrics, which takes more of a sadder nature. The song is about relationship that ended badly. The progression in throughout the song is great. It’s builds up to the chorus and then let’s loose. The lyrics are classic pop lyrics that will get stuck in your head for days. It’s the most upbeat heartbreak song. The vocals on the song are the best because you can feel how vulnerable Selena is in the song. It’s the most open and honest song that Seleners did for “Stars Dance,” which was pretty much what Selena’s ode to hating Justin Bieber.

The song itself is a Selena classic that really should have been on the album. It could have easily replaced one of the tracks that wasn’t that great because this song is addicting to listen to. It’s sheer pop perfection, something that you would have to wait to hear from Selena until years later. It just one of those song that never gets old. It’s been four years since the song was “leaked” and I still listen to it. It’s just something about the song that makes it so good.

No one is really sure why it didn’t make the cut. Selena Gomez never let us know nor actually acknowledge the existence of the song, I don’t think the SoundCloud below is her  actually hers. It’s a shame because it’s the best song off of “Stars Dance” which is ironic because it didn’t make it. Don’t get me wrong, the album is a classic with a lot of jams. They just don’t match up to what “Sad Serenade” could have been. Can you picture an acoustic version or a live version of it?

https://soundcloud.com/theofficialselenagomez/selena-gomez-sad-serenade

Rating: 5 out of 5

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