Confession time. I sat down to watch this Human Nature DVD with every intention of sledging the goddamn shit out of it. Three hours later, I found myself deciding that the band had some pretty worthwhile pop songs and that Phil was unexpectedly cute, in a goofy kind of way. That said, there’s no denying that Human Nature have built themselves a career with a fairly high degree of crap-ness (dueting with John Farnham, appearing in Happy Days: The Musical, etcetera ad nauseam). I guess my earlier opinion of them was also at least partly based on the belief that their clean-cut PG-rated schtick left no rough edges to really connect with. (Toby’s eyebrow ring just never seemed punk enough, you know what I mean?) But I always fall for nice harmonies and slick videography, and Here And Now serves both these things up by the spoonful. Cruel is a lovely piece of soul, while there’s no denying the catchiness of songs like Don’t Cry or He Don’t Love You. And the boys have come a long way, it’s got to be said. As some of the early-days footage on this DVD makes plain, they’re refining their look and their boyband sensibilities as they get older. (They’re also getting progressively more buff, leading me to wonder if management isn’t putting roids in their mash or something.) Besides concert footage and video clips, the DVD also features plenty of behind-the-scenes action of the boys looking pensive in dressing rooms, or mugging for the camera. They’re on the full pop star trip, and the results are pretty cute.

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