1. Intro: Face The Music — 2. You Got The Flavor — 3. Dirty Dawg — 4. Girls — 5. If You Go Away — 6. Keep On Smilin' — 7. Never Let You Go — 8. Keepin' My Fingers Crossed — 9. Mrs. Right — 10. Since You Walked Into My Life — 11. Let... more »'s Play House
1. Intro: Face The Music
2. You Got The Flavor
3. Dirty Dawg
5. If You Go Away
6. Keep On Smilin'
7. Never Let You Go
8. Keepin' My Fingers Crossed
9. Mrs. Right
10. Since You Walked Into My Life
11. Let's Play House
12. I Can't Believe It's Over
13. I'll Still Be Loving You
14. I'll Be Waitin'
"1994's 'Face The Music' was the New Kids' attempt to make a comeback during a time when the music industry was all about grunge and gangsta rap; looking back, the timing probably couldn't have been any worse. While the comeback was ultimately a failure (Jon Knight had bowed out early on, leaving the group as a foursome), they were certainly able to offer music lovers one last album of what I personally consider some of their best material. We begin with an interlude that is heavily influenced by East Coast hip-hop, complete with samples from Gangstarr, etc. Next up is "You Got The Flavor", produced by the one and only Teddy Riley, the godfather of New Jack Swing. Why this dance song was never picked up by Coke or Pepsi for a commercial is beyond me...The album's first single "Dirty Dawg" follows, complete with rap verses by New Jack Era rappers Nice & Smooth ("Sometimes I Rhyme Slow", "Hip Hop Junkies"). While the song is a nice departure from fluffier hits a la "The Right Stuff", it does strike me as a tad too misogynistic. "Girls" is by far the best uptempo on the album, featuring a chorus by Joe McIntyre, verses by Jordan Knight and a rap that doesn't try to hard by Donnie Wahlberg; this probably would have been the third single had the album's promo campaign made it that far. "If You Go Away" is probably the best ballad the New Kids ever recorded, originally released back in the fall of 1991. Sparkingly tender, this version is longer than the one heard on the radio, with a stunningly warm ending section. "Keep On Smilin" is sunny midtempo that originally appeared on the Free Willy soundtrack, BUT, it's the Teddy Riley-produced "Never Let You Go" that is the mellow 'urban' masterpiece that the New Kids should be most proud of. With an Al B. Sure-meets-early Blackstreet vibe, "Never Let You Go" was the second single from this album, and the video (shot in black and white) was laid back and smooth. Hands down, "Never Let You Go" is the best song on the album, and sounds the least dated of all."Keepin My Fingers Crossed" was produced by Wolf & Epic (the guys who did BBD's "Do Me!" and "I Thought It Was Me" radio mixes) and sounded dated even back in early '94 (sorry guys). [side note: Brett "Epic" Mazur is now co-lead vocalist of Crazy Town] The next song ("Mrs. Right") is probably the most 1994-sounding of all the songs on the album (think "Teddy Bear" by G-Wiz), and I always considered this one an enjoyable listen. Joey McIntyre handles the lead vocals on this one. "Since You Walked Into My Life" is another triumphantly glorious ballad in the vein of "If You Go Away" (both produced by Walter Afanasieff of Mariah Carey fame). I believe this track was originally supposed to be a solo song by Jordan Knight, but either way -- it works. "Let's Play House" is a lighthearted midtempo lead by Jordan (another solo track?), and it works well. "I Can't Believe It's Over" (produced by Narada Michael Walden) sounds a lot like Mariah Carey's "I Don't Wanna Cry" (also produced by Walden), but it still works well to give the album its darkest ballad. The shimmering "I'll Still Be Loving You" (which seems to be a sequel to "I'll Be Loving You Forever") finds Joe McIntyre singing his lungs out -- besides "Please Don't Go Girl", I think this is his best NKOTB performance. Bravo. The final song ("I'll Be Waitin") is one of the more forgettable songs (along with "Keepin My Fingers Crossed"), but Danny Wood turns in his second best New Kid career performance (Valentine Girl" was by far his best outing).In closing, I'd say 1994's "Face The Music" was a great album. While it may not have garnered the commercial success one would hope for, they certainly earned 'critical' praise from me: a music lover. And at the end of it all, it should *always* be about the music, right?"
They Will Be Missed...
Wildflower | 01/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By far the best work New Kids On the Block ever released. Filled with R&B flavor throughout (a homage to their musical roots), sadly Face the Music did not gain the exposure it deserved. Too bad - what better way to end a long and exciting yet tumultuous journey. It was nice to see/hear the boys going back to their roots before backing out completely! Groups have come and gone, but artists such as New Edition and New Kids On the Block paved the way for the generations that followed. If NKOTB were never your cup of tea, ya gotta at least give 'em that!"
The Best Album Ever!!
Camp Whacked | Massachusetts | 10/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been prasing this album since it came out in 1994. It is the most underrated yet wonderful album ever recorded! There are 3 songs on this album that are simply heaven. First and foremost is the beautiful "IF YOU GO AWAY" which still holds rank as my "favorite song ever" all these years later. It's mix of beautiful melodic music and perfectly sung vocals by Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre make this song the most wonderful tune ever released. As far as an R&B ballad goes, it doesn't get better than this.
"Since You Walked Into My Life" is another heavenly classic, again containing the perfect mix of beatiful music with amazing vocals by Knight and McIntyre. This song should have been their first single off this album.
And finally "I Can't Believe It's Over," a heartfelt power ballad is perhaps Jordan Knight's most amazing vocal work ever. Again containing unforgettable melodic music combined with Knight's power vocals make this the absolute king of "break up" songs for broken lovers.
The 3 songs mentioned above make this the most wonderful album of all time, but there is lots more great stuff on this album too! If you are a lover of R&B magic, do NOT miss this album. 11 years later, it's still "The Best Album Ever!" peace."
I thought that this was a strong final album by them!
Preston L. Moreaux | North Carolina | 05/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I thought that "Face The Music" was the best album from 1994. No other album from that year came close, though there were a few that nearly toppled it. It was good pop and I liked that the members were involved in the writing of it. But maybe they ran out of things to do and that's why the album didn't do well. People moved on to other artists that year, and I was going, why aren't they onto NKOTB? But I liked "Never Gonna Let You Go" (my favorite), Dirty Dawg, You Got The Flava, If You Go Away, Keeping My Fingers Crossed, I'll Be Waiting and others. This was really overlooked that year, and if it comes up on some "lost CD" series 20 years from now, they need to acknowledge and respect it!"