“Where I come from it was really unheard of to be at a party and someone says, ‘What kind of music do you make?’, and you say, ‘Pop music.’ You may as well have ‘I’m not cool’ stamped on your forehead.” ~ Lady Gaga
I’m thirty this year. Which means that I don’t have to try to pretend to be cool any more.
At the beginning of this post I asserted that Aaron Carter was a former Backstreet Boy. The lovely Alex, from Wild Heart City, then left me a comment pointing out that he actually wasn’t. So obviously I had to Google both Aaron Carter and the Backstreet Boys to see where I’d got this idea from and who Aaron Carter actually was.
This led to three hours of YouTubing cheesy, early-noughties boy-bands at some ungodly hour of the morning when I really would have been better off sleeping.
Natalie Portman was not amused.
And so now I have decided to share with you my top five songs by cheesy, noughties boy-bands.
5. Blue – One Love
All about staying true to the one (you) love.
“I refuse to give up
I refuse to give in ( uh huh)
You’re my everything (that’s right – come on)
I don’t want to give up
I don’t want to give in (oh no)
I have to admit that I still have a soft spot for Blue. To their credit, despite mostly making headlines due to the revolving door to Lee Ryan’s heart/bedroom, the Blue boys were true to the love of their fans.
I did a brief stint as a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support, and the band were happy to help with cheering up sick fans. They seemed to be genuinely nice people. Simon even sent a note and some flowers after one of the little girl’s he’d been in touch with sadly passed away.
4. O Town – All Or Nothing At All
I really don’t know why I like this song. It’s the ultimate creepy ‘nice guy’ anthem.
The gist of it seems to be that having presented himself (themselves?) as a friend and a shoulder to cry on to a girl after a break-up, he/they have grown frustrated that she isn’t moving on quickly enough for there to be any immediate prospect of him/them getting in her pants.
So this song is an ultimatum – either get with me, or I’m gone. And pretty much states that friendship is entirely meaningless to these people – “Is it all, Or are we just friends, Is this how it ends, With a simple telephone call, You leave me here with nothing at all” – it’s charming, really 😕
Very catchy though. And I want that car.
3. Backstreet Boys – Incomplete
Another slightly creepy song, in which we learn that it’s apparently okay to refuse to accept your girlfriend’s stated wish to break up with you, so long as it’s for the chivalrous reason that you “don’t want to make her face this world alone.”
It has to be said that a big part of why I like this song is the video, with its melodramatic tone and the boys’ pitiful attempts at emoting. I’m a sucker for a good bit of cheesy emoting, especially if it’s comedy, cheesy emoting.
2. Westlife – When You’re Looking Like That
I’m actually not evenly remotely ashamed of this one. I defy any one of you to tell me, truthfully, that you’ve never passed up on some opportunity, romantic or otherwise, only to end up kicking yourself for letting a good thing slide.
Or, conversely, that you’ve never been rejected, by a lover, a friend, a potential employer, whoever, and not wanted to turn around and stick it to them how great you are, and what fools they were for letting you get away.
If you’ve ever found yourself in either scenario, this song’s for you.
1. N*Sync – Tearin’ Up My Heart
Now, it was a close run thing here between the #1 and #2 spots. But in the end the deciding factor was Justin Timberlake.
If it hadn’t been for his start in this world-famous band, our JT may never have matured into the heart-throb movie star that women love, and men are sickened by.
I feel that I should also take this opportunity to finally admit, after fifteen years of denial, that my college friend Susannah was right to insist that Justin Timberlake was a pretty damn fine-looking young man in his N*Sync days.
Far more attractive than Ricky Martin, at any rate.
What, no, I never fancied Ricky Martin, what on earth would give you that idea.
Anyway, this is another song about unrequited love, but at least these guys eschew the emotional manipulation in favour of good, ol’ fashioned begging the object of their affections to love them back. Enjoy.