There’s always been something a bit strange about this year’s New Kids On The Block reunion. Sure, it makes sense on a surface level–the group’s members could use some money, and there’s at least a little bit out there to be made. But recording new material was, I felt, a risky venture, especially when the making of said material involved enlisting stars of R&B to try to add some credibility to the whole event. The video for “Dirty Dancing”–which is after the jump–only intensifies the weirdness.
First of all, I appreciate the effort the director made in including people speaking in a foreign language with occasional words I understand mixed in. That premise made KSCI one of my favorite channels when I couldn’t afford cable in Los Angeles and will always be close to my heart. However, when the song actually kicks in, so do confusion and fear on my part.
The spectacle of Joey, Jordan, and the other guys singing through Autotune modifications to an audience made up of what is apparently the gritty urban youth of dark-ages Germany gets to what was so odd about the New Kids and their new material. While Donnie is rapping (or whatever you want to call it) about sexing a girl up with big hips at the club, most of the group’s current fans are listening to the disc in the car while doing laundry or sneaking in one more track while waiting to pick up the kids at school. If whoever was writing these songs didn’t pitch at least one song about hitting on a newly single mom during the intermission of the fourth grade’s performance of The Wizard of Oz, they missed a golden opportunity. Instead, the reality of German peasants getting drunk on mead while Jonathan dances awkwardly downstage is as plausible as anything else the New Kids have done recently. Guys, if you’re reading and you want to really speak to your demographics, think about setting next your video at a parent-teacher conference.