Oh, Brian.

I don’t care how much you hate boy bands. Yes, you. Anyone who’s reading this. (There’s a 99.9% chance you fall into the boy-band-hater category, trust me, I know this.) I love boy bands. Well, some of them. The good ones.

So here’s my dilemma.

Brian Littrell is the “lead singer” of the Backstreet Boys. He has always been their vocal glue – back when BSB formed, Nick Carter couldn’t sing his way out of a bucket (which is no wonder, the poor kid was only 12!!), Kevin Richardson’s voice was too deep for lead vocals, Howie Dorough’s too high, and A.J. McLean’s arguably too raspy for their clean-cut sound. That’s not to say that they didn’t all share lead. But Brian was definitely THE lead.

In a world where *NSync could out-dance anyone, Britney and Xtina sold the sex, and NKOTB would always be “the original boy band”, quality vocals were the only key that BSB held. Nobody could take that away from them.


I was ecstatic when BSB and NKOTB teamed up. Despite the fact that there will always be a hole in BSB (we miss you, Kevin!), seeing 4 of my guys plus the New Kids all performing together was pretty freaking exciting.

Now, you know I would never put down BSB in any way if I could help it. I hid their CDs from my parents, cried for hours when I missed their Millennium stop in PDX, and wrote a 6-page journal entry when my mom wouldn’t let me buy a BSB poster at Claire’s. (Oh, the stories of my life!) But I am and always will be a music lover, first and foremost. And even I can’t deny the travesty that is Brian Littrell’s vocals.

I offer you the following exhibits:

First, BSB performing “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely” just a few years ago. (Brian’s on the far right.) Interestingly enough, Howie took what was normally Brian’s solo in the beginning of the song. Does that mean his voice has been going out for a while? He sounded strong what little I heard. But regardless, HOT DAMN those vocals are amazing.

Then, their recent mashup with NKOTB on the Today Show. More than the lyrical screw-up, I’m concerned with Brian. He’s screeching. His voice is giving out entirely. His voice is just not there!

And, just because I am dying to know I’m not the only one who can see this, another example.

This is the NKOTBSB hit, “Don’t Turn Out The Lights”, studio style:

And on DWTS (I shouldn’t even have to point out Brian. He’s the one attempting to sing, with nothing coming out. WHAT THE HECK?!):

I have tickets to see them live on July 8th. I am totally excited. But I’m also totally horrified! I’m going in as a BSB fan. I love NKOTB too, but BSB has been my heart and soul since I was 13. If anyone tries to question their credibility these days, I have no ammo. I can’t back them up. I can’t defend them. NKOTB are KILLING them vocally.

Oh, Brian. 😦 What happened?


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