Why hello there!
If you’re here that either means you’re…
- A Backstreet Boys fan who isn’t too familiar with Nick’s solo career but you’d like to be…OR
- Someone who saw Nick on The Masked Singer and you’ve learned how crazy talented he is and got curious…OR
- You’re already a huge fan of Nick’s solo music but you’re pretty curious about what I’d say are the essentials when it comes to Nick striking out on his own whenever he feels the need to.
No matter what your reason, I’m thrilled you’re here. I’m thrilled you’re reading! Because really I could go on and on about the gems you’ll find hidden within his albums. I decided I will here, because it hit me that even on my other blog I’ve never done full posts dedicated to each of his records separately. Just combination posts really. This was originally going to be like those, but I actually realized about halfway through writing this post that this actually needs to be a series. Really do this right and give you a guide on each album separately.
So welcome to Part One!
This series will be basically a go-to of where to start and what songs you just can’t miss if you decide to be picky for one reason or another. Why you would be? Who knows but people get like that sometimes. So I’m giving you a starting point with key performances and just what you might need and what to know. This is probably going to be a long post but that’s fine. Why not, right? Need to get the fandom ready…
Especially with new music in the future.
I’m sure most of you would expect me to start with Nick’s most well known solo endeavor, but I’m not. I do things my way. I’ll talk about Now Or Never in this series. But that one always gets talked about. By critics, reporters, other blogs. I don’t need to go there just yet.
So for Part One? I want to start with what I feel is his most slept on record. The one he produced and released independently on his own label back in 2011. He wasn’t on a reality show then. He wasn’t with a major label at that point. He put this record together from the pure passion of wanting to make his own record. Hell, even the Backstreet Boys were under the radar because this got released during the Kevin-less years. To this day a lot of fans don’t even know this record exists! It’s a freaking tragedy.
The year? 2011. The album? I’m Taking Off.
Now it’s definitely a bit of a departure from his other albums. I’ll be the first to say it. But as NIck has showcased, he’s a pretty diverse guy. He has loves in all kinds of music as any of us have seen when he decides to tweet what’s playing on his Spotify playlist. This one was a lot less rock tinged than he tends to do. But that doesn’t make it a weak album, not in the slightest. This was a passion project. His first one in a way because there was no Jive, there was no RCA. This was Nick doing what he wanted, how he wanted, with only himself to say no. He had a hand in writing every song on the album and was a growing experience to help him develop as an artist.
Let’s start with the title track. I’m Taking Off. If a song was EVER Nick, this would be it. It’s poppy, but it’s rock. It’s a song about relationships but using space metaphors because Nick will be the first to say he’s a huge geek. There’s even a Star Trek reference. God I love this song. It’s so cheesy but in a fun way. Some of the best songs are the kind where you just want to sing along and not give a damn what anyone thinks. This is one of those tracks.
‘Cause something about you has changed
You’re acting like an alien
I think I’ll put my space suit on
So I can jump into my rocket
Call ground control ’cause something’s wrong
It’s your gravity
That’s holding on to me
Gotta break free
And take me halfway to the sun
I’m taking off
If you’ve heard this song before I know you just sang that out loud.
This song never got the music video treatment it deserves. It wasn’t even a single in the US. Again, so frustrating. For the video I wanted space aliens and instead we sort of got a day in the life deal. I get it, Nick was indie at this point but a girl could dream and I did. We did get a space themed tour for this album, so there’s that.
What’s next on my list, you ask? Well…Coma is actually.
I probably should talk about the one and only single for this album..and I will. But I always seem to love the deep cuts more than anything so here I am. In all actuality, Coma never officially made the album outside of Germany but it was a bonus track there. It’s one of my favorites and typically me, always falling for the b-sides. This song has this interesting techo-pop vibe that now only showcases his range but gets stuck in your head. It’s a freaking earworm.
Linking the track on YouTube for you all here as well since unless you’re in Germany, this can’t be found on streaming services. I hate region specific tracks. I’ll tell you.
Since you’re still here and ideally enjoying yourself, I have to make sure I talk about Falling Down which is hands down one of the strongest and best songs he’s ever done. It’s a song about loss. In this case it’s specific to a relationship but during the tour for this record, he dedicated this song to his sister. On a personal note for me, I had this song in repeat back in 2012 to help me cope with the loss of my mom. It’s a song about pure heartbreak and man does he really let go when he sings this song. The infamous Nick belts are nicely showcased here and when I try to tell people how great solo Nick is, this is always one of the first songs I force them to listen to.
He’s been known to mix it with other songs he loves too and it’s incredible like here when he mixes in a cover of In The Air Tonight. That’s what great about him, he’ll create a mixtape of sorts for his own shows. He did it first on the I’m Taking Off tour which while is not the video I used for this instance below, it’s something that started with that era. When Nick puts together a show, you can tell he’s really showcasing himself up on that stage, his music, his love of other music, everything.
Time for another lesser known song from this record that I think doesn’t get the attention it needs. What track would be, you ask? Addicted. This one comes down to the lyrics. Sometimes lyrics can make or break a song. (Or in the case of I Want It That Way not matter at all…but I digress.) In this case, the lyrics make the track. I mean relationships can be drugs – good or bad. It’s relatable and the passion heard throughout the song is freaking everything.
Honestly, it’s sort of like Nick himself.
You’re such a good bad drug
The one I can’t give up
You give me such a rush
The one I’m thinking of
You’re such a good bad drug
That tour itself was so great. He comes out in a space suit guys. And I actually love that Nick’s never done arena tours solo. I know he’s self critical and sees it as a bad thing but as a fan I don’t. Everything about his tours feel personal and intimate and Nick just being himself. There’s always a rawness to him solo that at times can be missing from BSB as a group. That’s not a dig at the group as I was always a fan of theirs first and foremost. But it’s definitely a strength of Nick’s solo that I wonder if he ever recognizes. His songs, like Addicted tend to lend themselves to that rawness as well. Even when they’re more produced like on this album, he always makes sure they can be stripped down to the core for his live performances.
It’s honestly great.
Okay I need to talk about Burning Up. This was the second single off of I’m Taking Off. The first was Just One Kiss but personally speaking, Burning Up is more deserving of being discussed. Sorry Not Sorry!
This song is a party song. Simple enough. It’s the song you just want to have turned up at the club so you can get your dance on with your girlfriend. No real depth or anything crazy but not every song needs to be a thinker. I hate that people seem to think a song isn’t good if it’s not angsty or layered. Sometimes you don’t want that. The reason why I chose this song was the cool story behind the music video. Nick put out on Twitter and on his fan club that he wanted the fans to be part of the video. He told fans where they’d be and if they got wristbanded, they got to be part of it.
How many people get to say they were in a music video with their favorite singer?
He’s always trying to make the fans feel part of things. Each album era with the exception of perhaps Now Or Never he’s tried in one way or another. Perhaps one of the greatest performances he’s done though is when he remixed it on his album tour for this song. I’ll leave a link here and let you decide if you agree with me or not. Watch the entire thing.
Lastly I want to talk about Not The Other Guy. It’s in a few ways, Get Another Boyfriend mixed with I’ll Never Break Your Heart if you put the two songs in a blender. It’s a dance track which is why I sort of love it. We get a lot of ballads with this type of message from BSB but we don’t get upbeat tracks really. People seem to forget about this song though I’m not sure why. So I’m here to remind all of you that this song is a damn bop and you can’t tell me otherwise.
And of course, he remixed it throughout the tour too. Somebody Told Me was not something I ever expected but it was freaking epic so you need to watch this as well. Don’t even try not to. Besides Nick with a guitar is basically a gift.
I think why this album feels so cohesive and well done is that Nick was in a much better place in his life by the time this came out. He dedicated the album to Lauren, and he’d been able by this point to tackle his issues. This was not a perfect Nick Carter but it was a wiser Nick Carter, a stronger one who was starting to put his demons behind him. This seemed to be a Nick who had an idea of who he was as an artist.
I wish this album got the attention it deserved.
So you’ll see me singing it’s praises to infinity and beyond.
Thanks for joining me on my guide to the Nick Carter Galaxy!
Stay tuned for Part Two!
9 thoughts on “A Rebel’s Guide to the Nick Carter Galaxy – Part One: I’m Taking Off”
Great post for Nick fans, starters or not! I’m Taking Off truly deserves more attention, it’s a very good album. And yeah, up to this day I imagine how cool it would’ve been an I’m Taking Off song video.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Such a tragedy we didn’t get the space video we deserved lol. But that’s why I wanted to start with ITO, it’s just so underrated.
I feel embarrassed that I don’t know much about Nicks solo career or have not really followed any of the guys Solo projects. (Some Backstreet Boys fan I am) 😬. But this was a good read. Good luck with your new blog x Can’t wait for part 2 ♥️
It’s okay that’s why I’m doing this mini series! I’m happy you enjoyed it, thank you!
This is by far my favorite Nick album! I love these songs and you are 1000% on target about Falling Down showcasing some of the best Nick has to offer! Such a beautiful song! I’ve never seen any of these clips so I love having these to go along with the songs! Loved this post!
Thank you so much! 💓