While I’m just one of more than a million fans, I’m still pretty sure New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre won’t be too happy with me calling him the nickname of the best playing quarterback of Boston’s biggest football rival. But, I can’t help it. Aside from performing with NKOTB, it is my opinion that Joe will find the greatest musical and financial success, not as a solo artist, but as lead in multiple Broadway musicals.
Joe’s pre- and post-NKOTB acting
It was Joey’s acting in Boston’s Community Theater that first attracted NKOTB music scout, Mary. Even as a pre-adolescent, his singing voice was phenomenal, and he was likened to a young Michael Jackson.
After NKOTB, Joey continued to act on broadway and in movies and television. His role as Fiyero in Broadway’s Wicked during its 2005 season received excellent reviews for his ability to act, dance, and sing. His other theater acting roles included Barking Sharks, Tick, Tick… BOOM!, Happy Days. In television and movies, he held roles in Boston Public, Psych, On Broadway, The Fantasticks, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, and Christmas at Cadillac Jack’s. With the exception of Boston Public, Psych, and Christmas at Cadillac Jack’s, Joey’s roles on television and movies were really modified theater roles. He has proven he can be successful in such an arena. But Joey has also tried to prove himself as a solo artist.
Joey, the Singer
After the break-up of New Kids on the Block, Joey immediately tried to start a solo career. No one would sign him initially, so he used his own money to produce, distribute, and promote his first album, “Stay the Same”, which contained many songs cowritten by bandmates Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood. Because of his persistence in promoting the album, Sony finally signed him and redistributed the album. The album was certified gold with the single, Stay the Same, reaching number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999. Unfortunately, it seems, he didn’t give his next solo albums the same promotional effort as the first. Perhaps, he expected them to carry their own weight as his first was eventually signed with Sony? I’m not sure. Joey would go on to release, “Meet Joe Mac”, “One Too Many: Live from New York” (A live album with Emanuel Kiriakou), “8:09”, “Talk to Me” (an album of classics redone by Joey), and “Here We Go Again”.
For me, “Here We Go Again” was the most telling factor that Joey really should be a broadway musical actor and not a solo artist. According to Joey, he was inspired to start writing songs soon after NKOTB reunited in late 2007. The group toured on and off through July 2009 and then held a special concert in December 2009. Joey’s second son was also born in 2009. Joey’s album, “Here We Go Again”, was released in March 2010. He had very little time to put together the album, and by his own admission, he didn’t like what the producers had done with his voice (added autotune). His only promotion of the album was through an online radio station and five or six shows. He chose an international distributer for his album, forcing fans to either buy the album as an mp3 or pay double for a physical album. It is my opinion, that he didn’t care if the album performed well or not, and indeed it did not. I understand the concept of making music for the sake of making music, but if it is Joey’s goal to be a successful solo artist, I believe he has failed.
No doubt that Joey has a powerful singing voice, and he is extremely talented. However, his theatrical antics he has shown in his most recent shows alongside Emanuel Kiriakou is a strong indicator, to me, that he should not be seeking success as a solo artist. Listening to Joey’s new album next to Jordan’s new album, released this year is a simple demonstration of who is more serious as a solo artist. I do hope that when this most recent NKOTB tour ends that Joey will seek out another theatrical role, and I would be eager to see him play the part.
Joey recently published a blog which details where life has taken him since mid-July 2011. He has focused his concentration on being a dad to two toddler boys and one baby girl. He has taken some acting roles that he has thoroughly enjoyed. I think he might have finally realized what goals he should be pursuing. I know he’ll be reuniting with NKOTB in April for an international tour, but I still think NKOTB will be just a passing phase for him.