BBMak

Into Your Head

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    8
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Featuring the vocal harmonies of Stephen McNally, Christian Burns, and Mark Barry, BBMak's second album, Into Your Head, was unfortunately the British trio's swan song, as the album failed to match either the sales or chart success of the group's debut, Sooner or Later. That album, on the strength of the hit single "Back Again," successfully positioned the band (for better or worse) among the slew of late-'90s/early-2000s boy bands that included Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. Unlike its more hip-hop-influenced contemporaries though, BBMak deftly combined the soft R&B stylings of such British forebears as Take That with the melodic pop of the Beatles. Each member also penned most of his own material, and it seemed as if the goal of Into Your Head was to expand the group's audience with an update of early-'70s Southern California folk-rock. Containing some of the prettiest and most ambitious songcraft to come from a teen pop sensation since the Bee Gees' Odessa, the album often sounds like a cross between the Eagles and the Goo Goo Dolls. Minor electronic flourishes do little to diminish the organic feel of the production, and for the most part the songs feature solid melodic and lyrical hooks. "Get You Through the Night" successfully references the dramatic bliss of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer," and the leadoff single, "Out of My Heart," makes the most out of the dippy but catchy refrain "Out of my heart and into your head." Similarly, the Byrds-esque jangle pop of "Out of Reach" has a cinematic quality equivalent to the emotional apex of a John Hughes film, while "Run Away" is smartly punctuated by a string quartet. Ironically, the album closes with the sanguine power ballad "Beginning," which finds the group belting out the prophetic line "I don't want to let you got, but in my heart now I know that it's only the beginning of the end."

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