New Kids On the Block – Hangin’ Tough

First Hit #1: September 9, 1989

New Kids On the Block finally make a compelling case for their own existence. There’s something distinct here, or at least a bit catchy and recognizable. The best way to describe it is Bobby Brown for Babies, a simplistic approximation of New Jack Swing with that repetition very young children love. That sounds extremely dismissive, but it’s more that the band knows their audience. Here’s a group for young girls, positioning themselves as slightly cool and edgy young men those girls could aspire to date, and the song itself is at least interesting and distinct enough to set them apart. Of course, their last single proved they needed neither interest nor distinction to move units, at least in 1989, but it’s nice to hear the group actually trying for something.

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One Response to New Kids On the Block – Hangin’ Tough

  1. RBerman says:

    Wonder why we haven’t seen many concert videos at the top of the charts. I would guess they’re cheaper to make, and you get the excitement from the over-the-top reactions of the audience, intoxicated by the moment. Like yesterday’s song, you also get a reason for why these people would be singing and dancing around like crackheads. Guitar is unusually prominent for a teenybop dance tune, but it fits their “tough” façade. (Side note: The text software here added the cedilla under the letter “c” in “façade” automatically. That’s pretty cool.)

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