“I never wanna hear you say, ‘I want it that way’ cause i want it that way”. He doesn’t wanna hear it because he is the one that wants it that way? He wants to be the one to say it? Also what is “it”?— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) June 1, 2018
Nineteen years after releasing their hit “I Want It That Way,” the Backstreet Boys still have to explain what exactly they were trying to say in the song.
Chrissy Teigen was pondering the meaning of the song Friday afternoon. “I never wanna hear you say, ‘I want it that way’ cause i want it that way. He doesn’t wanna hear it because he is the one that wants it that way? He wants to be the one to say it? Also what is “it”?” she wondered on Twitter. “It seems they both want it the same way but are fighting over who gets to say they want it that way,” she continued in a second tweet.
Later that night, she got an answer from the boys themselves.
“Don’t wanna hear you say that you want heartaches and mistakes... or to be 2 worlds apart. We don’t want you to want “it” that way - that’s the way we want it... for you to not want it that way,” they responded from their group's Twitter account.
It’s not the first time the lyrics of this song have drawn criticism. Numerous journalists and music critics have attempted to dissect the song and summarize the general meaning, instead finding it completely nonsensical. One of the reasons that have been put to the weird lyrical nature is the fact that co-songwriter Max Martin is Swedish, and his English very wasn’t strong back in the nineties.