Four Factor - Backstreet Boys vs. Westlife

2007-11-23 16:19
This week’s four factors rated out of ten are:

The clone factor: Every boy band’s image is just as important as their singing. They have to be trendy. Which band dresses like quadruplets and which dazzles us by being daring?

The “hot hunk” factor: There is always that gorgeous guy whom we all fantasize about in a boy band. Which band was so hot they had girls screaming out their lungs?

Music video factor: If the song sucks you have to at least have a great video. Which boy band doesn’t think out of the box and keeps feeding us the same sloppy second-hand videos? And let’s not forget the synchronized dance moves: whose were the best or funniest?

Vocal gene-pool factor: Finally, can the band members harmonize well together? Are they versatile musicians or do they stick to the same boring formula? Do their records sell?

The candidates are:

The clone factor:
Until recently the Irish boys have been walking around like identical twins – if they weren’t wearing matching suits, they wore the same sweaters in different but coordinated colours! They were a fashion disaster. Lately Westlife has upped their game and they look more like individuals than photocopies of each other. Well done for finally embracing your individuality. 6

The “hot hunk” factor:
Sure, they aren’t bad looking and we certainly wouldn’t mind dating any of them if they were ordinary people like you and me. But that’s the problem right there. They look too much like the ordinary man in the street. They’ve got that sweet-faced and sensitive ‘good boy’ look we wish our boyfriends had. It’s definitely not a band you can risk getting run over by a bus for. 6

Music video factor:
Westlife are the Kings of Sappiness. Their sloppy and clichéd videos feature stuff like a guy chasing a girl in a meadow or a couple feeding ducks by the lake. They don’t take risks. When they try being adventurous they have cheap videos of themselves spread-out in a straight line on a landing strip and “innovative” effects like a camera zooming in at the soloist and zooming out at the chorus line. Guys, please, a little creativity wouldn’t hurt! 4

Vocal gene-pool factor:
Cheesy lyrics aside, when it comes to singing these boys know their shit. They synchronize well, bringing every song they sing to life. They may not be the best-selling and the most versatile boy band, but they know what works for them and they stick to it. As much as we wish they’d take more risks we still enjoy their sensational songs like “Flying Without Wings”. The band has also played with prominent R&B musicians, like Mariah Carey and Diana Ross. 8
- Read our review of their latest CD.
The clone factor:
Yes, they also have moments where they do the whole “let’s all wear matching suits and shoes” routine. But they also have different personalities, which are reflected in their different taste and style of dress. Brian dresses like a conventional school boy, Nick’s got that street-wise look, Kevin - who’s now left the group - wore skirts over his trousers and then we have Mr Tattoo who paints his nails black, A-J. So these brothers are definitely not clones. 8

The “hot hunk” factor:
Blonde Nick is by far the hottest guy in the group. People Magazine listed him as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People, and girls’ always scream the loudest when it’s his turn to sing. Too bad the hottie is a busybody with a long history of failed relationships. Then there’s Howie who’s got that slick long hair that made us wanna jump his Puerto Rican ass! 8

Music video factor:
Okay: when it comes to music videos, the Backstreet Boys are the best! The band got an award for 2001's “The Call” as the Best Pop Video. Their videos are different every time and are not just about chasing girls. They’re filled with choreographed dance moves. Though they can’t really get down, we’ll give these guys props for trying. 7

Vocal gene-pool factor:
Their new album may not be doing that well but these boys are undoubtedly the best-selling boy band of all time. They won a string of awards including the Best Band On the Planet in 1997 and the World's Best-selling Pop Group in 2001. They are known for their smooth and passion-fuelled harmonies in “The Shape of My Heart”. The Backstreet Boys have always been a versatile group who’re willing to try out new sounds, instead of conforming to a tried-and-tested boy band formula. Keep it up boys! 9
- Read our review of their latest CD

Scores out of 40
Westlife – 24
Backstreet Boys – 32

And the winner is, yes the ‘bad boys’: The Backstreet Boys.

-Tiisetso Tlelima

Sources:, Wikipedia

We fell madly in love with them when they were just kids. Now they’re grown men who have kids of their own. Who had the best music videos? Who did we drool over? And who’s the best (selling) boy band of all time: Backstreet Boys vs. Westlife. We decide who deserves the best of our love. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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