Backstreet Boys finally man up

"Oh my God we're back again…"

That's right, the Backstreet Boys have returned from their four-year hiatus to grace the radio, once again, with their dazzling vocal talents. Apparently, the boys were "Never Gone," at least that's what their new album title suggests.

And what a four years it's been. The "boys" have since waded through their share of unsuccessful solo careers, rehab, therapy and torrents of media attention. Combine all that, and we're looking at some Backstreet Men. Somehow, that name just doesn't have the same ring to it.

I was shocked at how excited I was to discover BSB was back on the scene. My friend came running down the hall, and the ear-to-ear smile on her face comforted me to know someone else shared the same enthusiasm. Perhaps it's the nostalgia of remembering those awful middle school years during which the "boys" comforted me. Maybe it was that, if only for a few moments, BSB's return meant that 'N Sync was coming back, and I don't know anybody who wouldn't be crazy about that.

I'd love to be able to tell you that I missed the whole prepubescent boy band craze and developed a taste for sophisticated music from the get go, but that is not the case. I most definitely went to the Millennium concert in 2000 and belted out the words to their sappy love songs standing alongside numerous BSB cults. That Brian Littrell really did steal my heart away. And even though I crammed my concert T-shirt into the very back and bottom of my T-shirt drawer and retired it to an inside-out lawn-working shirt, I'm thinking about taking it out again.

I'm pretty sure the Backstreet Boys shouldn't be making a return, however. Honestly, it was one thing before they needed therapy and had kids, but what girl wants to be serenaded by washed-up 30-something guys (unless we're talking Phish or something)? Once a band makes on a VH1 special like I Love the '90s, they really should not resurface, not even on Remaking the Band (unless it's Vanilla Ice).

I don't think the rest of America really wants to hear from them either, because their tour only hits a handful of cities, playing in the smallest venues.

The "boys" were in St. Louis last week, playing at the Roberts Opheum Theatres to a sold-out crowd. I'm sad to say I missed their return debut, but I don't know if it could ruin my cookie-cutter image of them to listen to them sing live. These boys came from the era when most live performances were prerecorded, scripted and full of extravagant, pyromaniac stage sets. And well, we just don't roll that way anymore-just ask Ashlee Simpson after her flop of a SNL performance.

I do not mean to come across as insincere. I will welcome back Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough with open arms, as long as we reach an understanding that they will not return to the number-one spot. I realize they are trying to go for a more "natural" image this time around, but come on, they'll still be as corny as ever.

Perhaps BSB is attempting to continue the long-standing battle between BSB and 'N Sync. They might think that just because they came back means they won the war. Not so much. The 'N Sync lads haven't encountered nearly as many blunders with drugs, and Justin actually has a successful solo career. Heck, one of them almost went to the moon.

So, hats off to the Backstreet Men, and welcome back. I wish you the best of luck; I know you're going to need it. But please, quit playing games with my heart.