Category Archives: ‘N Sync

‘N Sync – No Strings Attached (2000)

This is a learning experience for me. Digital Get Down, that is. Every new review I write, I learn something new. Forgive me if I’ve said this before. I’m still learning.

Here’s the lesson I learned this week: my trepidation in reviewing the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium a few weeks back? Thinking it was The Biggest Boy Band Album Ever (TBBBAE) and that it was all downhill from then on? Wrong. Unfounded. Bullhickey. Bzzzzzt.

While we’re at it, I would like to submit a formal apology for the following excerpt from that review:

“Boy Band History after Millennium is mostly just malaise, earth-tones and soul-crushing anonymity. And what’s more fun than that??”

Oh ho hoho. You know what’s more fun than that, mid-February Sean Rose? Mid-March Sean Rose pointing out that you are wrong and a God-fucked dummyhead. That’s right. It’s almost spring where I’m at, doggo! I got sweet sunlight and I am in the right. You think Millennium was the Biggest Boy Band Album Ever? You do? Is the snow sucking the brain out of your ears too hard for you to notice ‘N Sync’s butt-crushing megahit No Strings Attached waiting right around the corner??

Gosh dangit, you tit-witted tinyman. Get a haircut already.

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‘N Sync – Self Titled (1998)

On a fated summer’s afternoon in 1995, a fresh-faced 24-year-old Christopher Kirkpatrick met with boy band Svengali (and future jailbird) Lou Pearlman to exchange a few words about starting a pop group. Lou agreed to help little Chris out if he found some more vocalists on his own, and the plucky young man quickly enlisted the help of fellow popboy hopeful Joseph Fatone Jr.. After scouring through some audition tapes, the boys were compelled by a Mickey Mouse Club tape featuring the sweet freshface of one Justin Timberlake. The boys snagged Justin, Justin snagged fellow Clubber Joshua Scott Chasez, and then they all snagged some guy nobody cares about before he realized he was in a boy band and left and was replaced by one James Lance Bass. Inspired by a comment from Justin’s mom about how well their voices meshed together, the group (or Lou, maybe, probably) dubbed themselves “‘N Sync,” and the rest – as they say – is history.

Or – well, no! No. No it isn’t. Oh goodness I’m sorry.

The real story here is that ‘N Sync (or *NSYNC or NSync or however else you want to write it out) were conceived as another cookie-cutter late 90s Boy Band marketed in the United States as the primary competition to the Backstreet Boys. “In the United States” is the important part there – both groups were actually formed around the same time in the mid-90s and broke into Europe around that time as well – but because the Backstreets hit it big in America first, ‘N Sync were largely viewed as Johnny-come-latelys when their self-titled debut record was released in 1998. The first in a long line of Pearlman-coached assembly-line prettyboys designed to hustle the allowance money of suburban 11-year-old girls across the globe.

Was this a fair assumption?? Well, uh, yeah. Sure.

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