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The Comeback Kid

A lot of artists in history (and a lot of artists these days) have been trying to make bank off of their past popularity. They seem to either reunite with their former bandmates and put out an album/go on tour, or just one of the band memembers scrambles to put out a solo record. Has anyone else noticed this?

First let's talk about the most recent "hit" comeback group, New Kids on the Block (who may not have left an impression on many college students today seeing as they're... a little older). I remember my big sister listening to them on her tape player. Anyway, their new album recently came out, debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200, and they're currently touring around the U.S. selling out shows everywhere. But... did they come back with a quality cd? Are they money-mongers? Check out their summer success, cleverly named "Summertime", which is actually quite catchy. You do have to keep in mind how old these guys are. Is it respectable to be making music videos and teen-pop songs like "Summertime" when you're that old?

 

 

Next up on the agenda is the Spice Girls. Who could forget when they came to L.A. and rocked everyone's world? I didn't go the concert, but I can tell you that I didn't stop hearing their songs escaping from overly-jacked up iPod headsets, people's mouths, and various computer speakers in my dorm for WEEKS afterward. But, did anyone listen to their "comeback" song? The song did so poorly that they didn't bother releasing an album, but the tour was such a success they added several shows nationally and worldwide. Where's the new material? Cashing in nostologia can be great, but where's the comeback kid? The performer that comes back to show that they still have it, not that they had it, and they can repeat what they did before.

 

 

A little further back we also have the uber successful and vocally talented Mariah Carey.  After her Glitter bombed as a movie and as a soundtrack, her record label, Virgin Records, dropped her.  Then she signed on with Island Def Jam and released Charmbracelet.  Remember that one?  Not really, that's because it sorta bombed too.  Then, in 2005, the Emancipation of Mimi came out and all became well for the diva.  She won four Grammys and "We Belong Together" became a staple in pop culture at the time; it spent 14 long weeks at number one.  This past year, she followed up her comeback album with "E=MC²" which by all means was a success as well.  "Touch My Body" flexed it's chart muscle and became Mariah's 18th number one hit.  Should Mariah be labeled as best comeback of all time?  Are these two albums comparable to the hits that made her famous and respected in the first place?  (Emphasis on respected!)  I admit, "We Belong Together," was a pretty smart song to release at the time.  The charts were dominated heavily by R&B type songs.

More recently, there's been a lot of buzz about Britney Spears trying to get her stuff together for a major record and tour package.  Though Blackout was slated to (maybe) be her comeback album, it fell short of people's expectations, especially after the VMA's and absolutely no promotion on her side to support the work.  The album was not condemned by critics and fans; it debuted at #2 and Rolling Stone even wrote, "When she's not gearing up for a meltdown, Britney's wielding more melting-ice imagery than An Inconvenient Truth: She's gonna "break the ice," "hit defrost on ya," 'cause she's "cold as fire, baby, hot as ice." Fire and ice — Robert Frost said the world will end in one of those two ways, consumed by passion or frozen by rationalism, and it's clear which option Brit will take. But meanwhile, she's gonna crank the best pop booty jams until a social worker cuts off her supply of hits."  Now, she's really gearing up for it, with a world tour in the works and a new album, "Circus" to come out in December, will the once "Queen of Pop" get it together for long enough to take the world by storm (maybe even take it away from Miley Cyrus?).  Do we hope so?

Now tell me, who's your favorite comeback kid?