If Greatest Hits doesn't seem as fun as it should be, that's because the New Kids on the Block's material has dated, even though it, in many ways, set the template for the teen pop of the late '90s/early 2000s. Max Martin used Maurice Starr's formula, but he writes better songs -- only "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)" and "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" stand the test of time as good pop singles, but the rest are pretty much triumphs of recording and the form. Also, the sequencing doesn't play to their strengths, failing to gain much momentum as it plays. This still is recommended as the first pick, since it does have all of NKOTB's hits on one disc, but it's still sort of a shock that this doesn't play as trashy fun, the way it does in memory -- or the way Milli Vanilli's music now does. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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