Is it weird that it’s only 2013 and we’re already getting nostalgic for boy bands? First there was the New Kids on the Block reunion tour. Then there was the Backstreet Boys reunion tour. And then there was the NKOTBSB joint reunion tour.
For proof that this is all actually happening and no, this isn’t some post-apocalyptic nightmare, here is the new BSB single which is taken from an actual full length album of the same name.
The song is called “In A World Like This,” and you want to know something? IT’S NOT ABSOLUTELY AND UTTERLY TERRIBLE. Ugh. I hate it when that happens.
Anyway, why am I discussing boy bands? Well, the MTV Video Music Awards are forthcoming in September and there’s a rumor that ‘N Sync may be reuniting for a performance. Not only is the rumor hitting a high fever pitch across the Internet like a pre-pubescent boy’s falsetto, but to many, i.e., the female Internet, it seems like a highlight in a night of scheduled performances by Drake, Katy Perry, and Daft Punk’s first live television appearance ever.
Well, on his SiriusXM show, “Dirty Pop With Lance Bass,” Mr. Bass of ‘N Sync and coming out of the closet-fame addressed the rumor:
This morning I woke up to a lot of rumors flying that the ‘N Sync reunion is happening after eleven years at the VMAs this Sunday. Well, let me tell you how this all came about. Justin Timberlake is getting the Michael Jackson [Video] Vanguard Award this Sunday at the awards, so of course people are automatically going to think we’re going to be there performing, but this is exactly how it happened and I knew these rumors were going to fly. We all came down here [to Miami] except for J.C.—J.C. stayed in California, he had to work…Joey, Chris and myself went to go see Justin’s last show with Jay Z at the [Sun Life] Stadium last Friday, and I even took a picture of it, it’s on my Instagram…I think that’s what started the rumor that there’s going to be this big reunion with ‘N Sync. It’s amazing to see the reaction out there on Twitter and social media…It’s so nice to see because when we ended things ten years ago, there was no social media, there was no Twitter, but it’s so cute to see how many people are supporting and ‘N Sync was even trending.”
Bass doesn’t say exactly deny the rumor, but he also doesn’t say no either…but wait a second, why do we even care? I mean, there’s nothing cool at all about an ‘N Sync reunion. The very name “‘N Sync” itself is the dorkiest thing to say aloud ever in the history of saying things aloud. Yet here we are wasting time on speculating on whether these guys will reunite or not.
I think there are two things happening here. One, I think that Justin Timberlake’s cool factor is making us into revisionists regarding his past. In our hearts and minds, it’s impossible for us to conceptualize that anything associated with JT could be the epitome of uncool, and so we’re attributing his impossibly smooth smoothness on his boy band past. Justin, we’re saying, you’ve brought sexy back. Maybe that gives you special powers to even bring back ‘N Sync too and still be awesome.
Two, I also think that nostalgia is happening on such an accelerated pace because of the speed at which things happen in the Internet age that something that happened less than fifteen years ago is already look upon affectionately as a signifier of more innocent and simpler lives. We don’t love boy bands and the music they made. We love the time in our life when their music was on the radio. That was when all we had to worry about was acne and crushes. Now we have jobs and stupid bills. Which is understood. This reason for seeing ‘N Sync together again on TV is why I also want to see Pearl Jam play live in October.
But then again–SPOILER ALERT–I’m also a guy and boy bands were never targeted at me. And chances are if you’ve gotten this far into reading this diatribe on BSB, NKOTB, N SYNC, and BYOB (okay, so I made the last one up), you may even be annoyed with all the assertions I’ve made up to this point about the adolescents and Swedish manufactured harmonies. Boy bands weren’t cool, I say? Au contraire, you say! They were heartthrobs, imaginary boyfriends, cut-out magazine picture wall decorations. And I get that and respect that because you are presumably a woman and unless you were watching My So Called Life, you probably liked this band.
But let’s be honest with one another for a second. I want you to watch this music video and not feel slightly embarrassed in retrospect about having been obsessed with Lance, Justin, JC, Joey and Chris. C’mon. Try it.