This week, children of the nineties world-wide rejoiced. We were given some news that would shoot us straight back to poster-plastered walls, first concerts, and sitting by our boom boxes in an attempt to record our favorite songs. What is this news, you ask? Why just the best damn piece of information since we learned what a boy band was: *NSYNC will [reportedly] perform together at this Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) for the first time in over a decade! No that is not a typo, nor is this a sick joke. This is real life, people! And so, in honor of the possible reunion of my very first loves (hello JC Chasez with those gorgeous baby blues and velvety smooth voice), I have compiled a list of my Pop 10 *NSYNC songs. (Sidenote: it was supposed to be Pop 5, but narrowing their catalogue down to just five is akin to picking my favorite child, so 10 it is!)
10. “I Drive Myself Crazy,” *NSYNC, 1998: This kooky track focuses on how love makes us crazy, “I drive myself crazy, loving you the way that I do.” And while I do love this song, I think the video featuring the five guys paddling around a mental institution in silk pajamas was really the highlight.
9. “God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You,” *NSYNC, 1998: This song made young girls swoon and dream of their first loves. The lyrics were sweet, the melody was catchy, and JC and Justin made the absolute perfect crooners. “In all of creation, all things great and small; you are the one that surpasses them all. More precious than any diamond or pearl, they broke the mold when you came in this world.” It was later covered by country band Alabama. Obviously, there was no comparison, because comparing *NSYNC to anything country is like pitting a hotdog against a steak; it’s just not a fair fight.
8. “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” *NSYNC, 1998: “Tearin’ Up My Heart” is the first song that I really remember hearing by the fab-5. It was this song that kick-started my love affair with *NSYNC. “Baby I don’t understand, just why we can’t be lovers. Things are getting out of hand, tryin’ too much, but baby we can win.” Ah those words spoke to young me in ways that I still don’t fully understand!
7. “It’s Gonna Be Me,” No Strings Attached, 2000: Every song on my list thus far has been a track from *NSYNC’s self-titled, freshman album. For good reason: it was a fabulous creation and is what introduced us to the five cutie pies. But it is certainly not their only album worth mentioning. With their second album came a more mature sound, a sound which the guys had more control over. And “It’s Gonna Be Me” was a fun, catchy tune that was coupled with an awesome video complete with the guys dancing as puppets on strings and being hot in a weird, trippy room. “You’ve got no choice, babe, but to move on, and you know, there ain’t no time to waste.” Ah, so poignant! Great advice, fellas!
6. “For The Girl Who Has Everything,” *NSYNC, 1998: “For The Girl” was not released as a single, so only true fans know about this one. This song made me believe in love when I was a girl on the cusp of womanhood. I dreamed that someday the man [boy] of my dreams would sing this song to me. In fact, I had hoped it would just be JC singing it to me, since he sang the entire song (on the album version, anyway). “But the only thing you dream of-money can’t buy for you…ohh…and in my dreams I make your wish come true.” Swoooooooon.
5. “Gone,” Celebrity, 2001: I think this song was really the most indicative of *NSYNC’s artistic growth. It was bluesy, jazzy, and deep; and the video was minimalist with most of the shots just of the guys in black and white. “I’ve been sitting here, can’t get you off my mind, I’ve tried my best to be a man and be strong. I drove myself insane wishing I could touch your face, but the truth, remains, you’re gone.” I was never a huge Justin fan, but this song almost made me switch teams.
4. “I Want You Back,” *NSYNC, 1998: I mean, come on, you knew this was going to be here sooner or later. “I Want You Back” is what brought *NSYNC to our attention. The video showed us a group of five absurdly talented, cute, fresh-faced guys who could move, sing, and melt hearts all in one instant. “It’s hard to say I’m sorry. It’s hard to make the things I did undone. A lesson I’ve learned too well for sure.” No, the lyrics aren’t groundbreaking. But they’re catchy, and when you’re listening to pop music, that’s really what you’re looking for.
3. “Bye Bye Bye,” No Strings Attached, 2000: This song. I mean, come on. Phenomenal. The guys had begun their transition to more mature songs and themes, and “Bye Bye Bye” was no exception. “I loved you endlessly, when you weren’t there for me. So now it’s time to leave and make it alone.” The guys were singing about heart break, love, and empowerment. And the video was just beyond amazing.
2. “This I Promise You,” No Strings Attached, 2000: “Promise” is my favorite *NSYNC ballad. It is such a beautiful song and one that I used to listen to on repeat and imagine my future boyfriend/husband serenading me with. “I’ve loved you forever, in lifetimes before. And I promise you never, will you hurt anymore. I give you my word, I give you my heart. This is a battle we’ve won. And with this vow, forever has now begun.” Ahhh it still gets me all hot and bothered!
1. “Pop,” Celebrity, 2001: I have a feeling this is going to be a controversial choice, but I stand by it. Celebrity was the final album released by the group, and it was laced with their own original songs, ideas, and music. JC and Justin took ownership of this project and it highlighted their frustration with the music world not taking them seriously. “Sick and tired of hearing all these people talk about, ‘what’s the deal with this pop-life and when is it gonna fade out?’ The thing you got to realize what we doing is not a trend, we got the gift of melody, we gonna bring it to the end.” I loved this song instantly. *NSYNC was different from the other “mass-produced” boy bands of their day. They were actually talented musicians, composers, and lyricists. They had creative input on their music, where as bands like the Backstreet Boys and 98° just sang what was written FOR them. This is what gave *NSYNC an edge of superiority.
There you have it! My Pop ten *NSYNC songs! Now, I just really need them to go through with this reunion on Sunday so that my heart doesn’t break into a million pieces. Just kidding. Maybe.