New Kids On The BlockOnce regarded as the butt of the boyband joke, New Kids On The Block surpassed the rather lowly expectations when their 2008 reunion didn’t turn out to be a total shambles. Indeed, considering their naff reputation, it was mightily impressive that they managed to secure such hit-makers as Timbaland, Ne-Yo and a then-unknown Lady Gaga for their US No.2 comeback LP, The Block, This time around, though, they’re going it alone with a record self-described as a return to their vocal harmony roots. Sadly, despite being in their early 40s, 10 suggests the quintet still seem to think they’re in their teens with a never-ending stream of meaningless schmaltzy platitudes that even Beliebers would have difficulty swallowing. Here’s a look at five of its most obvious boyband clichés.

Miss You More

New Kids On The BlockThe finger-clicks, atmospheric synths and falsetto melodies help to provide a surprisingly convincing attempt at the whole moody R&B shtick that every self-pitying multi-millionaire ladies’ man is currently pursuing. That is until Donnie Wahlberg interrupts all the misery by adopting the persona of a laughably bad late-night radio DJ to inform his lost love that he appears to have swallowed a rhyming dictionary, with the whole issues/tissues line in particular possibly even more hideous than when his character’s head exploded in Saw IV: [LISTEN]

I hate the way I miss you, I wish that I could kiss you
The way that crazy issues, they keep popping up like tissues
One after the next, life is so complex
Used to wait up for your text, now I drive what happens next

(Remix) I Like The

New Kids On The BlockThe album’s lead single is possibly one of the most enjoyable tracks NKOTB have put their name to, a carefree mid-80s party anthem which could be mistaken for Michael McDonald. But once again, it’s the band’s way with words that lets the side down. Pilfering its theme from every high-school rom-com where the ugly duckling transforms into a beautiful swan simply by taking her glasses off and letting her hair down, the new kids revel in their dumb jock status by admitting that they openly mocked the former two until she turned into a ten: [LISTEN]

She was that girl in the corner
Thick-rimmed glasses
Everybody laughed
Every time she passed us
Ever the outcast
Had no flava

Wasted On You

New Kids On The BlockThis strangely enchanting fusion of neo-classical synth-pop and air-grabbing soft-rock perhaps best sums up the album’s 80s guilty pleasures feel. But even so, it doesn’t excuse the group from using such boyband staples as ‘you’re the air that I breathe’ to describe the oxygenic qualities of the girl who has spurned their advances. If that’s the kind of effort they put into the relationship, then who can blame her for looking elsewhere: [LISTEN]

I can leave you right now 
Pick up the phone and say we’re through
Even though we both know I’ll come right back to you

It’s a fact I need you, you’re the oxygen I breathe
You’re running through my veins under my skin
You’re no good for me

Take My Breath Away

New Kids On The BlockThis pulsing electro-pop of “Take My Breath Away” just about manages to steer clear of the brainless Guetta-esque Eurotrash that they sadly succumb to later on. But the amount of thought that’s gone into this borderline ass-kissing declaration of love is evident by the fact that it appears to be attempting the world record for the highest usage of ‘baby’ and ‘girl’ in one song, and that the chorus features the inspired brainwave of rhyming ‘away’ with erm, ‘away’: [LISTEN]

So take my breath away
I don’t need nothing, I got you
So take the rest away
Cause girl, you take my words
You deserve, girl, you deserve my everything
Cause baby, you know that I love you

Fighting Gravity

New Kids On The BlockThe album’s big ‘stand up for the key change’ moment sounds like the kind of faux-inspirational pop-rock usually foisted on talent show winners for their debut single. Equally derivative is the new kids’ ham-fisted attempt to brainwash their prospective lucky ladies into believing that their attraction is stronger than the force of gravity. Delivered with all the authority of someone who’s read a pamphlet at their nearby planetarium, even NKOTB themselves sound unconvinced by their whole ‘stars aligning’ theory: [LISTEN]

Baby, look up at the universe

Some things attract to each other

Like the planets and stars

Even though I can’t read your mind

You know you think about it all the time