Backstreet Boys honored with the 2,495th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

By Jaguar PS (Shutterstock)

They've been labelled competitors for more than two decades, but members of the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC recently hit the stage together in the ultimate show of unity, making their debut as "Back-Sync" at The Grove in Los Angeles, California.

Before performing each other's biggest hits, Nick Carter and AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys and Joey Fatone and Lance Bass of *NSYNC shared how the seeds of their friendship and new professional endeavors – including newly-announced Las Vegas engagement The After Party, featuring Carter, McLean, Fatone and Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris – were planted behind-the-scenes of their groups' perceived feuds.

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Aaron Carter

By: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

Twelve years before Justin Bieber dropped his debut album, My World, and shook the tween universe with his side-swept bangs, there was Aaron Carter.

The younger brother of Backstreet Boy's heartthrob Nick Carter, Aaron was responsible for some of the most iconic hits of 2000, from "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)" and "That's How I Beat Shaq" to his overplayed cover of The Strangelove's "I Want Candy." Carter arguably "paved the way" for today's tween pop stars like Bieber to become cultural phenomenons.

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There Are No Greatest Hits Anymore: Compilation Albums Are a Cash Grab in 2019

With Fall Out Boy releasing another "Greatest Hits" collection, the question remains: why?

Aaron Carter

Photo by Kathy Hutchins (Shutterstock)

For decades, "Greatest Hits" albums were a necessary evil.

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AALTA Releases "Closer Than Ever" ft. Lenachka

"A surrender to the night...whatever happens we'll take it together."

L.A.'s production/writing duo AALTA, aka Daniel Pashman and Grammy winner Rich Jacques, unveil "Closer Than Ever," featuring Lenachka, aka Helene Immel.

According to Pashman and Jacques, "This is the first track we wrote as AALTA. Lenachka came in and was the perfect pairing for the track we started."

Since arriving in Los Angeles from Germany at the age of eight, Lenachka has worked with Eric Robinson and John Mayer, as well as written with a who's who catalog of songwriters and producers, including Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons and Taylor York of Paramore.

The unique aspect of AALTA is less about the core team of Jacques and Pashman than it is about who they collaborate with. A variety of exquisite voices and shifting musical flavors inject sinuous fluidity into AALTA's elusive sound, infusing each new track with ever-changing textures.

"Closer Than Ever" opens on softly gleaming colors atop the throbbing pulse of the kick-drum as metallic synths drone in the background.

Lenachka's voice delivers intoxicating honeyed tones on creamy sonic patinas, as washes of glowing harmonies introduce radiant depth and dimension.

"Closer Than Ever" blends modern pop with glossy alternative vibes into a cool, coruscating soundscape.

Follow AALTA Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

Follow Lenachka Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Music Lists

RELEASE RADAR | Backstreet's back after six year hiatus

Plus new music from Paris Monster Girl Wilde, 8 Graves and more

No Music No Life

Photo by Simon Noh on Unsplash

RELEASE RADAR is here to give you the breakdown of the top singles, albums, and videos of the week, so you can head into your weekend with a new list of killer tunes.


Girl Wilde | "Fake Louis"

We've been keeping an eye on Girl Wilde over the last few months. In her latest single she caught us by surprise, backing powerful vocals and signature pop beats with some serious guitar.

You Might Also Like: Cappa, XYLØ, FLETCHER

Follow Girl Wilde on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

WOLVES | "Shoulder to Shoulder"

LA indie pop trio WOLVES timed the release of their latest single perfectly. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the track "Shoulder to Shoulder" pushes for a united front in the fight for equality.

You Might Also Like: The Mowgli's, Saint Motel, Grouplove

Follow WOLVES on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

8 Graves | "Numb"

The latest single from future grunge duo 8 Graves takes a dark turn. According to singer Brent Carpentier, the track " [is] about how feeling nothing sometimes can be even scarier than being in pain."

You Might Also Like: Younger Hunger, Cosmo Sheldrake, LAYNE

Follow 8 Graves on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

LOVA | "My Name Isn't"

In her new single, Swedish pop artist LOVA is fed up. "It is nothing new that us women are tired," she said. "Tired of living in the background of men, tired of having to raise our voice to be heard, tired of feeling afraid late at night, tired of always adjusting for men who cannot keep their hands and mouth under control."

You Might Also Like: Maja Francis, Peg Parnevik, Rhys

Follow LOVA on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


🌟 PREMIERE 🌟 | Gordy | Truth Be Told

Gordy - Truth Be Told (Official Video)

Though he grew up in Botswana, producer turned singer/songwriter Gordy was influenced by the likes of Deadmau5 more so than the local music surrounding him. However, you can hear a bit of both in his latest track.

You Might Also Like: Khalid, Sampha, FKF

Follow Gordy on Facebook | Spotify | Instagram

Gunnar Gehl | heartbeat

gunnar gehl -

17 year old Gunnar Gehl is an old soul. He uses his music to reflect on the small moments in his life, as seen in his latest video.

You Might Also Like: One Direction, WALK THE MOON, 5 Seconds of Summer

Follow Gunnar Gehl on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

🌟 PREMIERE 🌟 | Pixel Grip | Plastic Enemies


In their latest video, synth pop duo Pixel Grip pairs carefully crafted choreography with sparse drums and soft vocals to create an otherworldly experience. Keep an eye out for their full length album, Heavy Handed, out this April.

You Might Also Like: Air, Little Dragon, Glass Candy

Follow Pixel Grip on Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud


🌟 PREMIERE 🌟 | St. Humain | Emotional Sauna

Singer/songwriter St. Humain is keeping it real in his genre-bending debut EP. "My songs are always about something in my personal life and I don't write what I can't relate to," he shared,"because I think that at the end of the day we're all human and are in need of some real authentic connections. Honesty is the motto here."

You Might Also Like: Dua Lipa, Julia Michaels, Charlie Puth

Follow St. Humain on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Michael McArthur | Ever Green, Ever Rain

The latest EP from Michael McArthur isn't quite folk, or pop, or even strictly soul--it's an unheard of combination of all three. "I've always done things a little differently," joked the singer/songwriter.

You Might Also Like: Bon Iver, Jonathan Wilson, Dawes

Follow Michael McArthur on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Paris Monster | Lamplight

Garage funk, grunge pop, whatever you want to call it, the first full-length album from Paris Monster glues it all together with a synthesizer.

You Might Also Like: Nine Inch Nails, The Band, The Isley Brothers

Follow Paris Monster on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Backstreet Boys | DNA

All puns aside, the ninth album from the beloved 90s icons the Backstreet Boys boasts a dozen meticulously produced tracks and never before heard harmonies. They didn't need to it, but with this album the boys have proved that they really can sing.

You Might Also Like: *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, New Kids On The Block

Follow Backstreet Boys on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Allie Delyanis is an award-winning and losing freelance journalist based in New York City. She likes bands, books, breakfast food, and would love to be David Sedaris when she grows up. You can find more of her work on

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Music Features

Backstreet's Back But We Wish They Weren't

The Backstreet Boys release new song "No Place."

The Backstreet Boys

By Jaguar PS/ Shutterstock

Backstreet's back...again. Their upcoming album, DNA, will be their first since 2013 and fans have already gotten a taste of what's to come with first single, "No Place." The song is accompanied by a video that feels like when acquaintances force you to watch their home movies, but it does prove that the members of BSB are now Dad hot, which is like regular hot, but slightly less so.

Backstreet Boys - No Place (Official Video)

The song itself is wildly mediocre and cliched to the point of almost seeming intentionally lazy, like a love song written by way of Mad Libs. It often sounds like a list of weird brags about cities the group has been to, ultimately concluding that the proverbial "you" in the song is the best place of all the places, which is...boring. Granted, the song is very listenable, at least in that you kind of forget you're listening to it at all.

But perhaps most notable is the deeply uncomfortable music video featuring each of the group's members with their families. It almost works. Much of the footage is adorable and the children are having genuine fun with their respective fathers. In one moment, AJ McLean dances ballet with his two young daughters, and it becomes difficult not to feel some stirring of warmth.

However, the weirdest thing about the video isn't Howie Durough's startlingly deep V neck, or that it feels like a mash up of allergy medicine commercials, but that it comes off as a karaoke song. All of the BSB's voices are so obviously over-produced and autotuned that their mouthing along to the lyrics often verges on comedic. In one moment Kevin Richardson and his family stand on the edge of a cliff, staring into the distance arm in arm, softly murmuring the song's lyrics. It is so cringey you almost have to look away. At another point, AJ McLean stares lovingly at his wife, serenading her as the pair sit at their kitchen table drinking coffee. She looks so uncomfortable and unsure of what to do with her hands, you feel an urge to tell her you need help with the dishes just to save her from the situation.

It all raises the question: are the Backstreet Boys trying to rebrand? Do they recognize that tight jeans and dance moves just aren't in the cards anymore, so pseudo-country ballads and family man angling will have to do? Do they wear black socks with sandals?

Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.

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