Legendary Bostonion boy band New Kids On The Block has released their first new album in eleven years, ‘Still Kids’, a Scandi-synth-pop dynamo of music. The fourteen brand new songs will make you nostalgic for the eighties with their synth and drum energy, powerhouse vocals and homage to lyrics the band loves.

The original five members of the eponymous 1986 debut album lineup remain: Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight and Danny Wood. With Wahlberg creatively leading and co-writing on seven songs, McIntyre co-writing six (alongside Solo Joe producer Sean Thomas) and Jordan Knight co-writing ‘Old School Love’, (featuring vocals from Taylor Dayne) you can see how these Kids are still magic after almost 40 years (with a brief break between 1994-2008).

The next generation demonstrates their musical prowess with Elijah Wahlberg (and band Pink Laces) playing drums on ‘In The Night’ and Griffin McIntyre playing guitar on final track ‘Stay’.   

‘Magic’ opens the album, a drum machine-driving energy introducing us to the sound of the next 45 minutes, and it’s also a reference to the shared love between the Block and the Blockheads. ‘Summer Love’ follows, kicking up the energy and vocals and between the two of these tracks, ticket-holders will be ready to celebrate the Magic Summer 2024 tour, with guests Paula Abdul and DJ Jazzy Jeff, starting in Ohio on 14th June.

The pace slows on the McIntyre-led ballad ‘Long Time Coming’, looking at the inside of a mature relationship, inviting a reminder of the small, thinking-of-you moments, like refilling someone else’s coffee cup. A soft electro-beat surrounds the chorus, keeping with the album’s sound.

Lead single ‘Kids’ is right at home on the album. The upbeat electro-pop number already has over a million hits on Spotify, largely thanks to its feel-good infection – and the dance videos of CBS ‘Blue Bloods’ star Wahlberg and colleagues.

One of the strongest tracks on the ‘Still Kids’ album, the mid-tempo ‘In The Night’, manages to channel Laura Brannigan, the Fame soundtrack and a ‘Top Gun’ lyrical reference and is as glorious as that combination suggests.

Bon Jovi fans might enjoy the paired back, electronic mid-‘80s nod in ‘Runaway’ with Jordan Knight’s distinctive falsetto voice reminiscent of a keyboard sound. In a game of what else does this song sound like, you can also hear a nod to the Weekend’s ‘Blinding Light’.

DJ Jazzy Jeff spins an old school disco sound, (think Diana Ross’ ‘Upside Down’) on ‘Get Down’. Wahlberg’s dance directions on the song will go down a storm in the outdoor summer live shows.

‘Still Kids’, produced by long-time collaborator Lars Halvor Jensen and his production company DEEKAY Music, is the first new album since 2013’s ’10’, though singles, EPs, live albums and deluxe compilations have celebrated collaborations and music memories in the interim years (2022’s ‘Bring Back The Time’ with Rick Astley, Salt ‘n’ Pepa and En Vogue, 2019’s ‘Boys In the Band’ history lesson video and the iconic 2012 NKOTBSB worldwide tour with Backstreet Boys).

Call it what you want, but I have a funny feeling that as long as the fifty-somethings are still having fun on stage and in the studios, tonight and every summertime, with friends, family and fans, the New Kids On The Block will continue to evolve and create music so we can keep on smilin’.  Are you down?  

New Kids on the Block - Still Kids
Credit: NKOTB Music LLC / BMG

Track list: 1. Magic 2. Summer Love 3. Long Time Coming 4. Kids 5. A Love Like This 6. Dance With You 7. Come Back 8. In the Night 9. Runaway 10. Pop 11. Get Down (feat. DJ Jazzy Jeff) 12. Old School Love (feat. Taylor Dayne) 13. Better Days 14. Stay Record label: BMG Release date: 17th May 2024 Buy ‘Still Kids’ now

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