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Face the Music is New Kids on the Block's fifth studio album that was released on January 24, 1994 by Columbia Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Intro: Face The Music 2:14
  2. You Got The Flavor 4:50
  3. Dirty Dawg 4:15
  4. Girls 4:28
  5. If You Go Away 5:30
  6. Keep On Smilin' 4:35
  7. Never Let You Go 5:34
  8. Keepin' My Fingers Crossed 4:18
  9. Mrs. Right 5:03
  10. Since You Walked Into My Life 6:24
  11. Let's Play House 4:58
  12. I Can't Believe It's Over 5:08
  13. I'll Still Be Loving You 5:09
  14. I'll Be Waitin' 4:34
  15. Dawgappella 4:14

Album BackgroundEdit

In 1993, after about two years out of the limelight, the New Kids on the Block went back into the studio and began recording their fourth studio album (sixth overall), before splitting up a year later.

By this point, due to a strong backlash and allegations of lip-synching, they pushed for a more mature image and song selection that would appeal to fans.

In addition, they had outgrown the "New Kids" name: Joey McIntyre was 21 years old, Jordan Knight was 23 years old, Donnie Wahlberg & Danny Wood were 24 years old, and Jonathan Knight was 25 years old.

Jordan Knight, Wahlberg, and Wood fought for creative input and control, as most of their material was previously rejected by producer Maurice Starr in favor of his own compositions.

Having been dogged with an "uncool" stigma that they faced previously, the band decided to sever their ties with Starr who had been instrumental in their early success.

At the request of Columbia Records, the band shortened their name to the more mature-sounding NKOTB. Instead of the bubblegum, teen pop sound that established the New Kids in the pop industry, Face the Music had a more mature R&B and New jack swing sound to it.

The track, "Dirty Dawg" did fairly well on the charts, but a Canadian station (MuchMusic) banned the music video due to its suggested violence and misogynistic themes.

Although it wasn't a major commercial success, the critical reception was positive, and a cross-country tour was in the works.

However, NKOTB only could find bookings at nightclubs and theatres, which was a far cry from the arenas and stadiums they had been accustomed to playing in while in their peak years.

During the tour, Jonathan Knight dropped out of the band due to increased panic attacks and anxiety. Due to the fact that their fanbase had grown up moved on to grunge and gangsta rap, the rest of the group decided to cancel the rest of the tour.

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Face the Music" debuted at #37 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, with first-week sales of 27,000 copies.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album had sold 138,000 copies in the United States (as of 2008).

Critical ReceptionEdit

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote: "Sure, they've changed their style a bit -- their new jack R&B is a bit rougher, the lyrics are a touch nastier, and their hip-hop sounds a little more real -- but none of it sounds fake, and the best tracks on the album might impress even the most jaded listener."

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