Monday, April 17, 2023

"This One's for the Children" by New Kids on the Block

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  4103
Date:  11/11/1989
Debut:  82
Peak:  7
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Pop, Christmas

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, NKOTB had amassed six straight Pop Top 10 hits. Five of those came from their second album Hangin' Tough while the last one, the cover tune "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind)," came from their '86 self-titled debut LP. Of course fans would be anxious for their next effort, but before that the group was hauled into the studio to quickly record a holiday album. While three of the tracks would be Christmas standards, the majority of the songs were co-written by the group's producer Maurice Starr. The one track that Starr solely wrote was this lead single. It would follow the group's previous hits into the Pop Top 10 while also making it to #27 AC. The album would get to #9 and go double-platinum.

ReduxReview:  If this one was indeed for the children, then those children should have asked for a gift receipt and returned it promptly. Ugh. I mean, yeah I get that it was a message song and its heart was in the right place, but I'm not sure how Starr came up with such drivel. It was like he cherry picked ages old cliches from a list and then spliced them together over a bubblegum track. In other words, it sounded slapped together and quickly recorded in order to get this produce out before the holidays so that everyone could continue making scads of money. I knew I was in for a world of hurt when it started with a spoken word part asking everyone to take the song seriously. The fact the line was included says a lot (and not in a good way). I'd normally say something like - I don't mean to be a Scrooge here - but in this case I'm fine with being a Scrooge. The song is utter dreck. I do admit that it was probably the right song for the target audience, but that did not include me. The only good thing that came from it was that I read that the proceeds from the single did benefit a charity. While it wasn't a fact listed on the single, I'd like to believe that it was true. Therefore, due to that potential bit of good, I won't dog this with a zero rating (although I really want to). See - there are Christmas miracles.

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  NKOTB would return in the spring of '90 with "Step By Step." It would quickly get to #1 and go platinum. It was taken from their third album of the same name. It arrived in the summer along with a second single "Tonight," which got to #7. It would end up being their last Pop Top 10. The album would end up being a #1 triple platinum seller. During this time the luster was starting to wear off of the group's popularity. Critics were not kind to the group and their use of backing tracks during live shows put them in a bit of a lip sync scandal, which was not good following the Milli Vanilli mess. They tried for a more mature look and sound for '94's Face the Music, but hardly anyone was buying it. The LP stalled at #37 and failed to reach the gold sales mark. After that, the group split. Over the years the group members did their own project to varying success. Then in 2008, they decided to reunite. The nostalgia factor from original fans cause some buzz and excitement surrounding their return. A new album, The Block, would be released and it would do well getting to #2. A tour would do very well and just like that NKOTB got their second wind. They have since done further touring and release another album, 2013's 10, which got to #6.


No comments:

Post a Comment