These Backstreet Boys solo records will never be enough to bring home bacon or earn critical acclaim but good Lord, do they keep trying anyway.
Howie D of the defining 90s boyband is finally gagging for some solo success of his own after watching Brian Littrell serve up a vaguely successful Christian pop record and Nick Carter fill bargain bins with his two albums. It’s not to say that Howie has never tried anything on his own in the last 10 years. The guy did a single with Korean pop diva BoA titled ‘Show Me What You Got’ (which was released as a Bratz doll single) for fark’s sake.
The thing with Howie‘s sound is that, it always sounds hella dated and perpetually swimming in some vortex of late 90s to early 00s pop balladry. And his newest offering – ‘If I Say’ – does nothing to dispel that. The song features Japenese singer Shirota Yuu (more commonly known just as U) and from a market perspective, it’s a coup for Howie seeing as his album will be released first in Japan in two weeks.
The song’s part Spanish lyrics also makes it a timely single candidate now that Howie‘s gonna be opening for Britney‘s Femme Fatale tour in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. But naturally, the international single version will not feature U.
Listen to Howie D feat. U’s ‘If I Say’:
Howie D‘s material is unapologetically high on cheese and romantic sentiment – a perfectly sensible combination if you wanna stay relevant in the Asian pop market. In fact, who’s to say that the man is going about it the wrong way? Maybe the Asian pop market is his niche after all and he’s not wasting time barking up the wrong tree.
The Backstreet Boy’s forthcoming solo album – Back To Me – is said to be a “sultry and soulful” combination of danceable pop. He has hit the studios with Canadian production duo The Kuya Brothers and even co-wrote a song called ‘Pure’ with fellow band mate Nick Carter.
Howie’s first single ‘100’ was released a few months ago to very little affect and then it was followed up with a rather acceptable ballad called ‘Lie to Me’. I think it’s safe to say that this’ll probably only appeal to loyal BSB fans. There’s no real incentive for anyone else to embrace this because it’s not like the man is doing anything sonically noteworthy or really going all out to give us something wildly different from the Backstreet Brand.
Howie D‘s ‘If I Say’ is now out on iTunes and the man will release his debut solo album Back To Me first in Japan on 9 November and to the rest of the world on 15 November.