Backstreet Boys want you Back
“I Want It That Way” is about a strained relationship. The lyrical interpretation of this song, however, is notoriously muddled. They don’t necessarily make sense—and this is the subject of much the online discussion about this song. The lyrics were written by Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson, veteran Swedish hitmakers that began their careers at Cheiron Studios, which was about writing this song:
‘I Want It That Way’ was a play with words. When Max came up with the original idea for the song, it already had the line ‘you are my fire, the one desire.’ We tried a million different variations on the second verse, and finally we had to go back to what was sounding so great, ‘you are my fire, the one desire.’ And then we changed it to ‘am I your fire, your one desire, ’ which made absolutely no sense in combination with the chorus – but everybody loved it!
The song’s guitar riff was inspired by Metallica. There was an alternate version of the song recorded with more coherent lyrics, but the band preferred the original version of the song. Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson said that Martin’s English language skills were worse then, which is why the song’s lyrics don’t make a ton of sense. He told LA Weekly:
Ultimately the song really doesn’t really make much sense.
It was nominated for 3 Grammys in 2000: “Song of the Year, ” “Record of the Year, ” and “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.”