I just finished listening to the first few songs on the new New Kids on the Block record. Oof.
I guess I've never been within NKOTB's target demographic — neither now as snarky twentysomething, nor then as a baseball-playing single-digit-year-old. However, I'm open-minded and enjoy unexpected appreciation. But this is not that. This is just bad music.
Why can't bands employ embrace an ending? In punctuative metaphor, there are far too many more commas and ellipses than periods. Just do your thing, have your success, and then call it a day. Please. It's okay; we all understand.
Unfortunately, the Middle-Aged Men in Gentrified Urban Areas aren't the first and won't be the last band to make this mistake. That's a promise.
Here are six more bands that have tried and failed, or I expect to try and fail in the near future:
1. Backstreet Boys
Backstreet's been back like four or five times now. Each BSB renaissance results in progressively more sarcastic commentary and regressively less actual interest. I guess the cool thing is they can smartly say they have an inverse relationship with their fans (fans being a generous noun).
2. Guns N' Roses
While Slash shreds the ax on Conan from time to time, Axl Rose is somewhere planning yet another grandiose return that will happen inasmuch as MTV is willing to disappoint us all. Curiously, Slash reinvented himself; Axl did not. These two represent the perfect case studies for what to do and what not to do as a former smash hit.
3. Dixie Chicks
America, this one stings a little bit. The Dixie Chicks are forced to be labeled "comebacks" because of their bold, prophetic, and highly self-destructive denouncement of the war in Iraq. Since the Chicks criticized the George W. Bush administration, they've virtually fallen off the face of the earth — just like Earl. But the time is ripe for their post-Iraq redemption tour. What will they say about Iran?
4. Das Racist
The unorthodox hip hop duo had a nice little run: two other-wordly mix tapes and a decent-enough regular album. They apparently called it quits a few months ago, which is both sad and understandable. I mean, they were creatively thoughtful and actually kind of talented, but meeting growing expectations is like resisting the Borg: it's futile (unless you're Jean-Luc Picard, and Das Racist is clearly not Jean-Luc Picard). They'll try to come back though, and I imagine the next mix tape, which I'll title Tyrannosaurus Next, will be sub-par. The zeitgeist moves on like a thief in the night.
5. Wu Tang Clan
The Return to the Return of the 36 Chambers is probably forthcoming. Pushing their mid 40s, RZA and company executed their initial plot to take over the world perfectly but left little to be desired after we checked out their Gravel Pit. And these days, they're still minus one ODB and a war chest of relevance. Ghostface Killah, the most accomplished solo artist, is barely a flickering light even over on Pitchfork.
6. One Direction
First of all, I couldn't think of the exact name of this band, but I knew it led with "One." I popped into Google, barely typed the "o" and the "n" and zing, the top predicted result was, in fact, One Direction. Try it. At any rate, I know these guys are still together as a band, but it's only a matter of time before the ether devours them. They will inevitably choose to be spit back out and on to the main stage — strike that, the side stage at a small festival in Topeka in 2017.
So, um, good luck everyone. Shout out to Hanson.