Aaron Carter

Most Requested Hits

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Aaron Carter never quite became the pop idol that he should have been, given his looks and pedigree. As the brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, he should have stormed up the charts during the teen pop boom of the late '90s/early 2000s, but despite that bloodline and despite constant promotion, Aaron had only one notable hit, 2000's "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)," which scraped the Top 40. Prior to that, he had one hit -- "Shake It," which made Billboard's Heatseekers chart in 1998; after it, he had another hit, "That's How I Beat Shaq," in 2001 and that barely made it on the charts at all. Not a lot of hits, so it seems like they would all be on his first hits compilation, Most Requested Hits, particularly since it weighs in at 15 tracks. Not so. "Shake It" has been left off, as is anything from his 1998 debut, which isn't even listed as part of his discography in the liner notes. That's because Carter is trying to present himself as a young adult now, putting beefcake pictures of himself on the front and back cover and playing up his last album, Another Earthquake!, featuring half of that album's ten credited songs. Since that's his best album, easily eclipsing his first three records, that helps make this a musically strong collection, even if it's not necessarily balanced or accurate. Truth be told, most listeners won't miss the selections from 1998's Aaron Carter, and the mix of seven selections from Aaron's Party (Come and Get It) and Oh Aaron is more listenable than either of those albums, and makes for a good pairing with the stronger Another Earthquake! material. Carter still sounds awkward on that earlier material, illustrating why he never became a star even though he looked the part...and that makes the strength of the Earthquake! tracks ironic, since he finally wound up with a sound that could take him to the charts after the fad had passed. And that makes Most Requested Hits an interesting listen, since it winds up having contrast and a narrative, which is enough to make up for the fact that this doesn't have all of his hits.

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