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#ThrowbackThursday “If You Go Away” By New Kids On The Block

New Kids On The Block “Face The Music” Columbua Records

By Sean Smith

Miley Cyrus.

The moment you read that name a number of thoughts probably came to your mind. Many of them likely negative. Perhaps her provocative VMA performance started replaying in your mind’s eye, a performance that has no doubt forever altered the way you now look at teddy bears and foam fingers. Or perhaps you thought about the news that she and actor Liam Hemsworth recently broke off their engagement. Maybe the word twerking comes to mind.

My point is that when you think of Miley Cyrus, you think of many things before you ever get to thinking about her actual music. There is a stigma that is attached to the former Disney star that in a way prevents many of us from objectively listening to her music with an open mind.

The truth is, her new single “Wrecking Ball” is actually a good song. I would challenge all of you to put aside the provocative imagery of the video and all of the stigma that is attached to the name Miley Cyrus, and actually listen to the song without any preconceived notions.. At minimum, I think you will at least come away with the opinion that the song is above average.

Be it right or wrong, many of us let the stigma associated with an artist get in the way of objectively listening to a song and judging it solely based on what you hear at that moment. Which leads us to this week’s #ThrowbackThursday offering, “If You Go Away” by New Kids On The Block.

The song was originally released as a  single in 1992. It  reached the 16th spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and was later included on the group’s fourth studio album Face The Music in 1994. Although, “If You Go Away” was also released on the greatest hits compilation H.I.T.S. In 1992 which was only released outside the U.S.

Face The Music was the first album NKOTB released after splitting with long-time producer Maurice Starr. Prior to the split, Starr wrote and produced much of the groups records, making Face The Music the first album offered by the New Kids that was truly of their own creation. “If You Go Away” was the first song released after the break with Starr and was co-written with songwriter Walter Afanasieff. Afanasieff is known for classic ballads like Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” “One Sweet Day,” and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

By the time the album was released the group’s popularity had begun to fade and the album, along with the group’s newly found New Jack Swing sound, failed to garner the attention and hype of the media and went largely unnoticed. Face The Music’s edgier lyrics, and distinctively more urban sound was actually a truer representation of NKOTB’s Boston roots than their previous offerings, which can be described as more of a pop influenced urban sound. But nonetheless, the change in sound along with the lack of attention given to the album has left it as somewhat of an undiscovered album in the group’s discography.

With that being said, give this week’s #ThrowbackThursday offering “If You Go Away” by New Kids On The Block  a listen without any preconceived notions clouding your judgement. Who knows, you might just like it. Enjoy!

New Kids On The Block

“If You Go Away” (1992)

From: Face The Music

Columbia Records

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