EW reviews four hot new albums -- We take a closer look at new releases by Dressy Bessy, The Posies, The Backstreet Boys, and Van Zant

By Chris Willman
Updated June 17, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

EW reviews four hot new albums

DRESSY BESSY Electrified Okay, Ms. Bessy, here’s the deal: You keep up the same sound you’ve had for four CDs running (smiley-smart vocals, gung ho guitar, beaming hooks), and we’ll keep praising you as the best thing to come out of Denver since John Elway. Sound good? BBrian Raftery

THE POSIES Every Kind of Light The Seattle power-pop act’s first studio album since 1998 expresses anguish about the state of American politics and culture. But aside from the bittersweet ”Conversations,” rote arrangements keep the CD from being seen in a flattering Light. B-Douglas Wolk

BACKSTREET BOYS Never Gone Five years after 2000’s Black & Blue, the Boys are still plying five-part harmonies and proffering lovelorn ballads. ”Poster Girl” is a bright flashback to their hit-filled heyday, but this corny comeback is hardly a triumphant return. CNicole Symmonds

VAN ZANT Get Right With the Man (Columbia Nashville) Practically every country newcomer cites Skynyrd’s Southern rock as influential, so you can’t blame surviving Van Zants Donnie and Johnny for capitalizing on that goodwill. But this exceptionally dumb country side project is all chest-puffing attitude and no songs. Somewhere, Ronnie is. . .listening to something else. C-Chris Willman