September 3, 2008 / 9:38 PM / 10 years ago

New Kids On The Block hope new album has right stuff

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hit ‘80s boy band New Kids On The Block are no longer kids, but all five men are hoping they still have the “right stuff” after reuniting and releasing their first album in 14 years this week.

Joey McInytre, Jonathan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Danny Wood (L-R) of the band 'New Kids On The Block' pose during a photo call in Munich July 9, 2008. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

The New Kids were still teenagers when they released their debut self-titled album in 1986. They sold more than 70 million albums, with hits including “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “I’ll Be Loving You,” before breaking up in the mid-1990s.

But Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood say the lucrative reunions of groups like The Police, The Spice Girls and Take That had nothing to do with their own decision to get back together.

“It had absolutely no bearing, whether it was The Police or the Spice Girls,” McIntyre, 35, told Reuters in an interview as he sat on a couch alongside Wood and the Knight brothers. “It was just the right timing for us.”

“We had to feel confident and good about what we were doing,” he said. “When we went into the studio there weren’t expectations for a tour or an album. It was just like, ‘let’s see what we got.”‘

What they got was their fifth studio album, “The Block,” which was released in the United States on Tuesday. The first single off the album, “Summertime,” peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after it was released in May.

“Lyrically it’s very reflective of who we are now,” McIntyre said. “We’re grown men in relationships, complicated relationships, there’s ups and downs and we’re all in different places in our lives.”

“There’s also stuff that’s just really fun and really dance driven and really club driven,” he said.

For “The Block,” the group worked with artists including Timbaland, Akon, Ne-Yo, Lady GaGa and the Pussycat Dolls.

“We’re a group who are more entertainers, we pride ourselves on doing a good stage show,” said Jordan Knight, 38. “I think that kind of entertainment goes in waves and we are ... seeing that kind of wave kind of hit again.”

In an early review of the album, The Los Angeles Times said there was a “surprising strength in most of the material” and that “believe it or not, they’ve got the right stuff.”

New Kids On The Block kick off a North American tour this month in Toronto and are planning to tour Europe early in January. But can fans expect more from the reformed boy band?

“The door is open for the future, it’s definitely wide open,” said Wood, 39. “We will all sit down and talk and see where we are at that point.”

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