I Owe You Nothing: The Best of The Bros

by: Bros

Two decades before X-Factor rejects Jedward gave British pop twins a bad name, Luke and Matt Goss, aka Bros, were conquering the charts with their heart-throb good looks and highly polished teen-friendly pop-funk sound. Celebrating the short-lived shelf life of the duo, this 2011 Camden compilation indicates how the bleached blond brothers went from hysteria-inducing teen idol millionaires to near-bankrupt flops in the space of just three years. Full of slap bass-lines, glossy synths and highly-processed beats, the seven tracks from debut album Push couldn't sound more 1988 if it tried. But while gloopy ballad "Cat Amongst The Pigeons," and the faux-R&B of "Ten Out Of Ten "adhere to the most schmaltzy over-earnest tendencies of the boy-band genre, the likes of sole chart-topper "I Owe You Nothing," and "When Will I Be Famous?," whose impatient ‘fame at all costs' theme was at least a decade ahead of its time, have aged much better than most of the SAW pop factory output that the boys opted to ignore. The same can't be said of the six tracks plucked from 1989 sophomore The Time, their first album since the departure of bassist Craig Logan (now Pink's manager), with only the acid-house-inspired "Madly In Love," and the Michael Jackson-esque "Chocolate Box" offering anything like the infectious melodies of its predecessor. By 1991 swansong, Changing Faces, the brothers had begun to believe their own hype, ditching previous collaborator Nicky Graham and co-writing all of its ten tracks, and the fact that only two make the cut here (the contrived attempt at gospel, "Try," and drippy power ballad "Are You Mine?") speaks volumes. Whilst it still features all the eight straight Top Ten hits including "Drop The Boy," "Too Much" and "I Quit," there's nothing here to tempt the fans who still get palpitations at the sight of a leather jacket. Indeed, while it shares sixteen tracks with 2001's The Best Of, it also omits three ("It's A Jungle Out There," "Changing Faces" and "Silent Night"), meaning that I Owe You Nothing is a lazily-assembled and rather unnecessary collection which may bring a few teenybopper memories flooding back but is unlikely to appeal to anyone other than casual fans. ~ Jon O'Brien

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