Backstreet Boys Released An Acoustic ‘I Want It That Way’ & Now I’m A Mess

Backstreet Boys

Get ready to feel all the damn feelings, because it’s the 20th anniversary of the classic Backstreet Boys album Millennium, and in honour of this very special occasion, they’ve released an acoustic take on their tender ballad ‘I Want It That Way‘.

In a statement accompanying the re-release, the boys said:

“Each and every one of you have been the perfect fan and have made us feel larger than life. Believe us when we say, no one else comes close to having as amazing fans as we do … We would never be able to say enough ‘thank yous’ but wanted to share a little something to show how grateful we are.”

You can give it a listen below, and I fully expect that I’ll have this song playing on a constant loop for years to come, the way I already did with the original:

The question remains – just what the hell does ‘I Want It That Way’ mean? We may never know, and lyric interpretation website Genius is certainly no help.

They say that the song is clearly about a “strained relationship” but that the meaning is “extremely muddled”, possibly thanks to Max Martin‘s tenuous command of English at the time:

“The song’s titular line has caused a lot of confusion. Super-producer Max Martin came over to the US to write songs for artists such as the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. At the time, his understanding of American phrases or even control of the English language, as Kevin Richardson suggested, was minimal.”

“After the confusion of the line, an alternate version was created, with the opposite message, “I love it when I hear you say, I want it that way”. Unfortunately the alternate version wasn’t popular with the fans, or the band, and the flawed lyrics of the original remained.”

Bottom line, we may never know what the hell the Backstreet Boys are talking about here, because ‘I Want It That Way’ slaps harder than any other song in human history.