Great Songs, Terrible Bands: *NSYNC Goes “Pop”

An A.V. Club reader recently asked us for our favorite songs by terrible bands. Read everyone’s responses here (it’s pretty hilarious). Mine is pasted below:

For me, it’s gotta be “Pop” by ’N Sync. Born in ’82, I was weaned on New Kids On The Block, came of age to Boyz II Men, and was just old enough to despise Lou Pearlman’s bumper crop of follow-up boy bands. It was the worst of times for mainstream music, and be they bleach-tipped or corn-rowed, those little bastards were responsible for making the radio suck. And then, in the midst of meatheaded paeans to playerdom and sappy song-sized romance novels, there came this strangely self-aware single—one boy band’s plea for respect—and weirdly, it worked. At least, it worked on me. Justin Timberlake was always a standout in the group, and it’s hard to shake the feeling that he was responsible for the track’s lyrical sass—“Why you wanna try to classify the type of thing we do?”—as well as the concept of dubbing the group’s newly aggressive sound “dirty pop,” which felt a little bit like a knife slashing at his own group’s oeuvre, not to mention those of ’N Sync’s competitors. The beatbox solo was the icing on the cake, and a preview of the unexpected credibility that awaited JT in his solo career. Don’t you ever wonder why his music gets you high? This is the fizzy foundation of the Justin Timberlake we know and, yes, love today.

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