Armed with a fresh image, a spunky new album (”Black & Blue”), and a powerful desire to cream ‘N Sync’s sales record (2.4 million copies of their album ”No Strings Attached” sold in its opening week), the Backstreet Boys are back. So what can be said of the teen dreams’ online action? Check out these sites, both official and off the beaten path, for the lowdown.
? The Backstreet Boys — Official Site The Boys’ official site not only allowed the band to debut their new hangin’ tough look (freshly mussed hair, leather, smirks), it teased fans with an early look at their latest album before it debuted in stores. Fans can download the video for insta- hit ”Shape of My Heart” and sample audio clips from all their albums. Naturally, the official site is shamelessly self promotional (Infiltrate ”TRL” with votes! Order all the CDs! Become a member of BSB’s Online Street Team!) and as ultra- produced as any of the group’s singles. There are a few shrugging attempts to keep it real here — though a video of five goofily dressed boys monkeying around a golf course isn’t exactly revealing.
? The Backstreet Project Former Marvel Comics maestro Stan Lee has teamed up with the boy band to help them take over the world. Sort of. Together, they’ve created the playful Backstreet Project, which reminds fans that boys will always be, well, little boys. There’s a series of webisodes that position the guys as positivity preaching, buffed up superheroes (Kevin Richardson, Power Lord!). You’ll also find a carnival of matchmaking, trivia, and puzzle games. But the real genius comes when you get to create your own Backstreet Boys strip using Lee’s comic composer, where you can piece together your own story — and decide if the Boys are up to saving the day.