Review Summary: Very different from prevous Nick's album. BSB vocalist grew up and changed his music style but new, very indifferent album proves that he has no idea for himself and his carrer.1 of 2 thought this review was well written
Year 2010 has been very busy and hardworking for the youngest Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. Officially in this year began collaboration between his band and one generation older group New Kids On The Block. In the meantime Carter presented to the publicity two acting-directing samples and began, once again, to work on his second solo record that in the begging of this year was finally released in Japan.
Before I started to work on this review I have made my little research in the Internet in order to find some information and fan’s opinion about the album. To my great surprise, there weren’t many of them. How come that known worldwide, considered as the most talented and handsome Backstreet Boy Nick Carter didn’t cause big discussion with his second solo project? The answer for this question appears after becoming acquainted with “I’m Taking Off”. Unfortunately, this album does not induce extreme emotions: the listener neither does float in the air nor feels like he or she’s been sentenced to listen to the piece of junk. It’s just indifferent.
Sorrow is the greater that when nine years ago Carter released “Now Or Never” it seemed that he had a predisposition to become pretty good pop and pop-rock musician. Meanwhile in “I’m Taking Off” Backstreet Boys vocalist totally rejects his previous achievement, entering into other musical directions. His new album is strongly inspirited with r’n’b, dance, pop and urban style.
I regret to say that there are no outstanding tracks on the album. Carter written or co-written all of the songs mandating their production to well-known producers such as Rami Yacoub (“Larger Than Life” Backstreet Boys, “Baby One More Time” Britney Spears), Toby Gad (“Big Girls Don’t Cry” Fergie) or Savan Kotecha (“Amazing” Westlife). With some of them Carter cooperated before on “Now or Never”.
First single and one of two best tracks on the album is “Just One Kiss”. It’s catchy, quite pleasant, melodic pop-rock song. Carter had also directed the video to this single. Second good, even better track is title song “I’m Taking Off” which is stylised for popular in 80s dance genre. The song has a very interesting chorus as well as lyrics in which falling out of love is related to the willing of escaping to space: “I think I’ll put my space suit on/ so I can jump into my racket/ call ground control ‘cause something’s wrong/ if it’s your gravity that’s holding on to me/ gotta break free/ and take me halfway to the Sun”. Other quite good song is “Addicted” which perhaps isn’t very original but is the most similar to what Carter has done on “Now Or Never”. The track has pretty good piece of Carter’s vocal slightly recalling Bryan Adams style. “The Great Divide” is also good song but would be much better with different beat as the used one simply overshadows the vocal, especially in verses.
Unfortunately, even enumerated tracks drawn in the ocean of other average pop songs and they just aren’t able to keep whole album on the surface. There’s no shortage of typical fillers that they have no right to appear there after such a long time of working on the project. One of them is introductory piece “Burning Up” featured with rapper Britton “Briddy” Shaw. It is, in my opinion, the weakest track on whole album bearing the most famous producers names (Rami, Katecha). “Burning Up” is typical, not original disco hit, very similar to others its style, probably much worse than them. Poor songs are also “Not The Other Guy”, “So Far Away” and “Falling Down”. All of them are similar mid-tempo and styling genre which makes them not memorable even after hearing them several times.
One positive change is been noticeable since “Now Or Never”. Carter’s vocal in “I’m Taking Off” is calmer and more melodic. It appears that when he does not yell like he was in habit to do before his voice has pleasant, warm timbre. On the other hand, there’s not even one song that would give Nick a chance to show his real vocal abilities. “I’m Taking Off” tracks give an impression that Carter suffers singing them in the keys and tones not appropriate for his voice.
Carter clearly rejected chosen by his management several years ago style releasing this album for which final shape he had definitely had bigger influence. “It has songs about love, happiness, the sad parts of love – it’s got some dance tracks on it. You can play it for your loved one or you can play it in the club” says Nick about the album on “Just One Kiss” promotional video. In this willing to satisfy every listener of “I’m Taking Off” he just forgot to define his style. Unfortunately, the effect of his efforts equalled him to the hundreds of similar average pop-stars for which rise of the music market is as sudden and unexpected as forthcoming set. I wonder who the youngest Backstreet Boys would be if in 1992 he had missed the protective wings of Lou Pearlman. Both, average album proving that Carter simply has no idea for himself as well as his achievements in other areas makes me think that despite having interesting timbre and undoubted talent to attract audience and tabloid’s attention he’d have a problem with leaving the drawer called “mediocrity”.