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10 by New Kids on the Block
Released: Apr 2013
Label: The Block/Boston Five
Here's the thing about being a massively successful, era-specific boy band a couple decades into manhood: Either you gotta go full-on nostalgia, or you have to contribute to the current pop dialogue. 10 doesn't quite do either (though Donnie's rap on "Miss You More" will be fun for diehard fans). Instead, it assembles pleasant, innocuous songs slicked down with synths, light dance beats and voices Auto-Tuned into indistinguishability. Perfumey love themes run rampant, with the occasional detour into reinvention ("I like the new you/ Forget about the old-school," pleads "Remix").
Rachel Devitt

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