Second Asian reissue of their 2000 album, 'Black & Blue' includes one bonus track on the first CD, 'What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful)' & now includes an exclusive VCD (viewable on all DVD players). The VCD is entitled 'Secret Diary' and includes footage of their world wide tour they completed in Europe & Asia, a behind the scenes look at AJ's house and live performances that band did over Broadway in NYC. The VCD clocks in at over 60 + minutes! Also included here is a bonus set of stickers. Standard double jewelcase housed in a slipcase that has exclusive artwork. Which should help to differentiate between the umpteen other editions of this album!
The Backstreet Boys' previous outing, Millennium
, was a tough act to follow, combining as it did the storming pop of "Larger Than Life" and the sublime balladry of "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely." Black & Blue
is a worthy successor, if a slightly more mature sound for the boys. There's plenty of uptempo pop, such as the catchy advice dished out on "Get Another Boyfriend" and the slinky beat-riddled R&B of "Shining Star," nicely balanced with some smooth ballads--you can almost hear the lighters sparking up as the Spanish guitar gently plucks away on "I Promise You (with Everything I Am)." However, it's when they take up immediately where Millennium
left off that they are at their strongest: "The Answer to Our Life" and "Not for Me" form a sturdy bridge from their previous output onward to the future. If this is the state of things to come, the future is decidedly rosy for Brian, Kevin, Howie, A.J., and Nick. --Helen Marquis