Backstreet Boys celebrate 20th anniversary of ‘I Want It That Way’ with acoustic version

Backstreet Boys celebrate 20th anniversary of ‘I Want It That Way’ with acoustic version

Like a fine wine, a millennial’s affection for Backstreet Boys has aged extremely well

Back in 1999, we tweens wore out our Discman’s by spinning the group’s pivotal third album “Millennium” — with seminal track and karaoke mainstay “I Want It That Way” and epic fan-appreciation anthem “Larger Than Life” — on repeat.

Just a year later, we all laughed along as Blink-182 famously parodied the song’s iconic video in their own video for “All The Small Things,” featuring the men open-shirted and gesturing towards the camera in an airplane hangar. Then, we promptly moved on to genres with a little more suburban street cred — hip-hop, pop-punk, metal, indie and, yes, even emo.

But I’d like to think a majority of us had a small Backstreet Boys-sized hole in our hearts while the band re-grouped over the last 20 years — which is why so many late-20s to 30-somethings are going ga-ga over the song “I Want It That Way” again: This time, a “re-imagined” acoustic version.

Backstreet Boys
Backstreet Boys in 2019.Getty Images

And adult hearts are a-flutter. Some say it almost feels like the first time again.

“I seriously feel like I’m 14 years old listening to #IWantItThatWay on repeat on my CD player. This was such a great surprise,” writes @davitajermone.

“This made me get a bit teary eyed listening for the first time. Brought me back to being in high and listening to the original for the first time. Got the same giddy feeling. ❤️,” adds @aprilrenae.

Some fans (this reporter included) are still waiting to see the remix with Chance the Rapper, inspired by a 2019 Doritos advertisement featuring the song: “Is it bad I was hoping this was the @chancetherapper version from the Doritos commercials? 🤭😂,” writes one wishful thinker.

Nostalgia aside, this song’s re-release and the band’s rejuvenated fan base come with a pill that’s hard to swallow for us millennials who are rapidly approaching middle age.

In one buzzkill reaction to the new track, says @castroken, “20 years wow i feel so old.”

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