Boyz-N-Girlz United

Boyz-N-Girlz United

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Joining the ranks of teen pop acts that inundated the airwaves at the turn of the 21st century, Boyz-N-Girls United released this eponymous debut of innocuous, easily produced pop, which is harmless if you can stomach it. The one thing that separates the vocal quartet from other vocal groups of the time is that there are both males and females in it, opening up the possibility of duets and of standing out in a very crowded field. With the writing aid of 'N Sync's JC Chasez on "Messed Around" and "Can't Stop Loving You," it would seem the group would have an edge, but that edge is dulled by the fact that the male voices sound identical to the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. Regardless, the material is not as weak as might be expected, starting with a faithful rendition of Atlantic Starr's "Always," which even has better production than the original, though the female vocals sound forced. "Can't Stop Loving You" has the charming insistence of Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time" without ripping it off, and "Don't Get What You See" sounds like an updated version of something the Jets might've covered. On the other hand, it's hard to take some of the tracks seriously with lyrics like "There was a time/when I thought love was just a fairy tale" ("Beautiful You"), and "That's What You Get" is so standard it almost fades away. This not an awful debut by a long shot, but there isn't much bite. It's not necessarily dumb to play it safe the first time out, but with their second album Boyz-N-Girls United will need to distinguish themselves if they want to go the long run.

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