The tone of ‘Now or Never’ (which fans have taken upon themselves the duty of abbreviating as NoN) goes right along with Nick Carter’s mood: young, free, wild, crazy, and fun. Those qualities make for one incredible album. And that’s what ‘Now or Never’ is, incredible. Pink, Ryan Adams, and many critics have given it props. Here’s my analysis of the disc track-by-track:
1. Help Me: Yes it’s true, this song does have a Nirvana guitar riff at the beginning. That’s cool. This song starts of with Nick almost whispering the lyrics in a very suave manner. The message is Nick asking for help in figuring out life, something we all can relate to. The line that sticks with fans the most is “You love me, for who I am, no angel, just an ordinary man.” The song is very good, even though radio didn’t pick it up. But hey, they didn’t pick up Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ in the beginning either.
2. My Confession: This is a great song, one of the 5 songs Nick wrote. Though Nick sings “This is my confession,” he claims this song isn’t written to any lady in particular. The second best part of the song is Nick melodically speaking the second verse. His voice meshes extremely well with this song. The line that sticks out the most is “Give me just a second, what am I to do, maybe it’s obsession, but this is my confession.” The best part of the song is when the music breaks as if the song is being recorded in space. Very nice.
3. I Stand for You: The second song written by Nick. This is a rebel song. It signifies youth, rebellion, defiance, everything Nick best represents. Hey, he’s only 22. Nick sings about being free, havin’ tattoos, riding Harley’s, and doin’ it his way. This song could easily be a theme song for any teenager feeling pressure to conform to society. Nick’s message to you is do what’s in your heart. Nick has said many times he loves hip hop, as well. It shows when he breaks into a short rap towards the end of this song. Nick raps on several songs on NoN. Hopefully, it’s a sign of what might appear on his next solo album.
4. Do I Have to Cry for You: DIHTCFY was written by Nick in the bathtub. This song jump started the whole solo thing. He wrote this song and Jive officials suggested he do more and put together a solo album. This song is very similar to the Bryan Adam’s song ‘Everything I Do, I Do it For You’ which was featured in the Kevin Costner flick “Robin Hood.” This song is very raw. Nick told Z100 that when BSB first got started, they recorded with an R&B artist who told Nick that people want to hear you mess up. They want to hear your voice crack so they know it’s coming from your soul. That’s what inspired Nick on this song. It’s raw and uncut because it’s from his soul. The best part is his three sequential yells of “Yeah!” towards the end of the song. Great song.
5. Girls in the USA: Nick wrote this song as well. Reggae artist Mr. Vegas guest appears on the track. Kid Rock or Queen couldn’t have done this song any better. Nick brings hard beats, lyrics, and heart to this song. Many states are mentioned in this song, but don’t worry. Nick also sends a shout out “to all the girls he might’ve missed.” Mr. Vegas adds a cool flavor to the song. Even though I don’t know what he’s saying, I still anticipate the moment when his part comes up. This song is perfect for stadiums, radio, and driving cross country. Both Nick and Aaron Carter love their country. This is a great, very patriotic song.
6. I Got You: Haters will say Nick relied on Max Martin to make this great album. Max only co-wrote three of the twelve songs on this album, and ‘I Got You’ is one of those three. This song is very smooth. It makes you stop and pause, it’s like listening to your heartbeat. Nick told MTV VJ Damien that Kevin Richardson really likes this song. It is done extremely well. The music is reminiscent of U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ or ‘Where the Streets Have No Name.’
7. Is it Saturday Yet?: This is the final song on the album written by Nick. It’s almost as if Prince produced the song and Sum-41/Blink-182 co-wrote it. Nick incorporates many products and people into this song. Nintendo sounds play in the background as Nick mentions his Nintendo being on the floor as his mom is bangin’ on the door. He says “Jerry Springer was my dad, and it wouldn’t matter if Martha Stewart was my mother, and Aaron Carter was my brother, cuz I’d still be bad.” Well said, Nick. This song is very fun and bold. In the middle of the song, a break occurs, similar to Missy Elliot’s break in her video for ‘Get Ur Freak On.” Very cool. At the end, Nick breaks off on the lyrics, similar to something Eminem would do.
8. Blow Your Mind: The second Max Martin song, arguably the best song on the album. This isn’t your typical club song. Nick performed this song in an orange prison jumpsuit. The song falls along the lines of Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s My Life.’ Nick once dated Willa Ford, someone who was with him just to use his name to promote herself. It shows on this song and album. Nick mentions several times girls wanting to spend his cash. He also slams Willa on the B-side song ‘Payback.’ The best part of the song is when Nick yells “So typically me, always fallin’ for the easy, and when you can’t see, she’s gonna blow your mind.” Fans will definitely shout this line in unison during concerts. Lots of energy, best song on the album.
9. Miss America: Nick told Z100 that if he had to do a video for this song, he would take his shirt off. After listening to the song, you would agree that that’s the only way. This son is very sexy, who would’ve thought Nick could pull it off. He did. This song is arguably more smooth than most Backstreet Boys ballads. Critics were caught on the lyrics “Take it off, take it off, let’s get it on, get it on.” Fan favorite. Even fans outside the U.S. love this song. Nick even pulls off a nice falsetto line towards the end of this song. Eat your heart out, Justin Timberlake.
10. I Just Wanna Take You: Max’s final song on the album. Max brings the hard/punk rock songs to the album. That’s what Nick wanted. The message of this song is to forget about pick-up lines, flowers, and candy. Nick just wants to take you home. Parents, hide your daughters. Just kidding. A great guitar solo happens in the middle of the song. This another song that Sum-41 could have pulled off as their own. It will be great to see this song live, lots of energy. Great song.
11. Heart Without A Home: Fans who love ballads will love this one. It’s Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams all the way. It reminds me of Backstreet’s song ‘Drowning,’ only much better. It’s very smooth and arguably error-free. As a guy, I usually stay away from ballads, but this one does justice. Anyone who loves guitar-driven slow love songs, this is perfect for you. We all knew Nick could pull of the up-tempo tracks i.e. BSB’s ‘Shining Star’ but now we know he can carry a sharp ballad, as well.
12. Who Needs the World: This song is better than most BSB mid-tempo songs. I honestly feel it’s better than ‘I Want it That Way.’ Nick doesn’t force this song at all. The message is clear, the vocals are smooth, the music is impeccable. This song utilizes Nick’s vocal range best. He hits the high notes, low notes, and notes in the middle. Way to finish the album with another great song.
Added: November 17th 2002
Reviewer: elgato cat