Video Review: Backstreet Boys “I’ll Never Break Your Heart (Version 2)”

In a cylinder, with rolling cobalt bolts with a ruby red interior, the faces of the Backstreet Boys are shown in a circle.

 AJ slouches in his white chair in his art deco apartment. He puts his hand on his heart, as his reflection is seen in the cutout mirror.

Kevin takes a seat in his living room, with its emerald green patterned wallpaper and matching couch.

Nick walks around in his cherry red room, with comic strip paintings hanging on the wall a rocket ship shaped television.

Brian walks around in his modest apartment. He hangs out by his canopy bed.

Howie folds his hands in his museum-like home, decorated with guitars.

In the circle, AJ beats his hand in time as they gather together and promise true devotion. They put their hands on their chests. Howie pretends a tear has fallen down his cheek. Nick has horrible slicked back hair. The rolling cobalt bolts turn around again.

Kevin, in his silk shirt, touches his chair. Howie, with a couple of shirts unbuttoned, exposing his pecs, touches his chest. Nick lounges around on his rectangular couch.

In the middle of the city, the group lives one by one on top of each other.

Back in the cylinder, AJ rolls his finger for emphasis and takes off his sunglasses.

Howie plays guitar in his room.

Back in the cylinder, Brian implores for a chance. AJ gets defensive and crosses his arms in the air. Howie asks not to be judged.

Starting on the first floor with Nick, the camera pans up like an elevator to Kevin, Howie, AJ, and finally to Brian.

Brian brushes his girlfriend’s hair back. Nick’s girlfriend blows out a bubble. Brian lies on the rug. Nick’s girlfriend tries to spray him with bubbles. Howie runs his hand down his girlfriend’s hair. Kevin touches his girlfriend’s hand. Howie plays some more guitar.

In the cylinder, Kevin wonders why she doesn’t understand. Nick says he won’t cause any pain. Brian closes his eyes in frustration.

Howie wraps his arms around his girlfriend. Nick is in tears against the wall. Kevin kisses his girlfriend on the forehead, who is bathing in the tub. AJ’s girlfriend plays with his hair. Brian pets their dog. Kevin holds onto the bathtub.

The camera pans down, starting with Brian and ends back on Nick. The apartment building is shown.

 In the cylinder, they stand, with hands folded or crossed, prepared to listen.


Rating: 2/5

 The Backstreet Boys want to be the perfect boyfriend. They are sensitive guys who only want to be in love. They live on their own and are able to provide, while thinking about the family men they want to become. 

But they need to hire an interior designer first. Nick’s room is garish and better suited for a ten-year-old obsessed with superhero movies. AJ’s room is colder, resembling a modern advertising office while Howie’s room is a collection of guitars, similar to a Hall of Fame exhibit. Only Kevin and Brian’s rooms seem to be lived-in and appropriate for their age.

The claustrophobic cylinder contains the group. While it was standard feature for many videos starting in the late 90s and early 2000s, here it seems like a decontamination chamber, meant to preserve their purity and goodness. The futuristic aspect seems almost dystopian with the narrow apartment building.

    Director: Billie Woodruff  Year: 1998


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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