Every time ’90s boy bands stopped a song to tell us how they really feel
What’s better than listening to a smooth slow jam, the kind with velvety-soft vocals that massage your ears and your senses? That’s right. It’s that moment in between the third verse and the bridge when the singers stop singing and start talking directly to you. Yes, you.
While not as common as it should be nowadays, many of our favorite boy bands from days of yore gave us whispered perfection during their prime. Let’s take a journey together and celebrate some of the old—and new—gifts we’ve been provided, shall we?
“All those times at night when you hurt me and just ran out with that other fella? Baby, I knew about it. I just didn’t care.” – Boyz II Men
Arguably the gold-medalists of the spoken word interlude, Nathan, Wanye, Shawn and Michael (until 2014) offer us no less than eleven interludes on eleven songs (yes, you read that correctly). Thankfully, this kind person has compiled them for us. Our personal favorites? The soulful soulful monologue in “End of the Road.” We also love “On Bended Knee”, which has lines like, “I know you put all your trust in me. I’m sorry I let you down.”
“Well, I guess they saved the best for last” – New Kids on the Block
The Boys from Beantown were kind enough to offer us an entire song of spoken word verses. “I Wanna Be Loved By You” allows each group member (yes, even Jonathan) to introduce himself, give us his birth sign (of course) and tell us in his own words that he wants to be loved by us. We also love their jam”Didn’t I Blow your Mind,” which also has some real talk during which Danny says gently, “I know it’s been a long time since someone blew your mind.” How did he know? His glorious psychic display begins at 3:45 in the video of the live version.
“Girl, you should know how I feel by now. There’s so many ways to love. So just open your heart and I’ll find the way.”-Backstreet Boys
While serious BSB fans recognize that Kevin brought so much more to the group than just a deep voice and eyebrows on fleek, more casual listeners may only know him as the sultry seducer behind the monologue in “Darlin’”. He drops major truth bombs basically the whole way through.
“The way you look at him, I wish it was me, sweetheart. Boy I wish it was me. But I guess it never will be,”-98 Degrees
As if “The Invisible Man” isn’t soulful enough, their blink-and-you’ll-miss-it monologue starts at and 2:44. Justin whispers to us soulfully before getting drowned out by Lachey vocal bliss. Sigh.
“This is personal, this is for me and you” -Justin Bieber
The Biebs is just full of surprises, isn’t he? Who would have guessed that he’d revisit this former trend as recently as 2013? The sleepy thirty-five second soliloquy in “Heartbreaker” tells us, among other things, “This is personal, this is for me and you.” We accept, Justin.
“It feels like something’s heating up, can I leave with you? And ladies… I don’t know but I’m thinking bout, really leaving with you. Feels good, don’t it?”- Justin Timberlake
Our other favorite Justin doesn’t hold back in his ’09 single, “Senorita.” His monologue isn’t a soulful profession of love, it’s instructions for how to get other people to sing on his track. Though it’s a bit out of left field, when he asks “Feels good, don’t it?” we’re inclined to say yes.