N’SYNC? Bigger than Jesus?

by Terence Leung

At one point during a rant and rave session about the apocalyptic outlook on pop music in a record store in Toronto, my brother (reasonably annoyed) posed a question that I found incredibly difficult to answer.

Me: “2.2 million copies! 2.2 MILLION copies! In 2 days! What kind of God-loving creature would buy it? Where do these people come from?”

Brother of Me: “I dunno, it’s not that bad.”


Bro: “I know.”

Me: “IN 2 DAYS! I mean, the bible has sold over 100 million copies which is impressive, but it was OVER THE PERIOD OF 2000 YEARS! By my calculation, this would mean in 45 days, N’SYNC will be able to prove that they are really bigger than Jesus!”

Obviously foul logic, but it’s the point that counts.

Bro: “Ok smart ass. Desert island top 5 songs by a boy or girl band in the last 2 years.”

There it was.

I had no clue. In fact, I still don’t, I’m hoping I do when I actually start at number one. See, the point my brother was trying to make was that out of the hundreds of over produced “pop” songs that ever come out in the last couple years, at least 5 of them must have been pleasurable. This is true.

However, to find 5 of them? And how do I classify a boy/girl group? Is Radiohead a boy group? If marketed well, they could well be. I mean, Thom Yorke could be the “cute one” and have millions of screaming girls feint at the sight of his left eye.

Nevertheless, the classification that I will use as a boy/girl group is that the word “group” can count even solo singers. However, these people cannot play any instrument (in this case, vocals are not an instrument for obvious reasons) on stage and they must dance at a frenzied and maniacal manner. Also, musical restraint is completely forgotten in all areas and lastly, you must be good-looking. That means, officially, Thom Yorke is out of the running.

1. Britney Spears – Lucky: Umm… she’s good looking. BUT (hey, are those?…), lyrically, this “song” is possibly the most reflectful and thoughtful “piece” ever written in the last year for lowest common denominator consumption. Also, I get the feeling that acoustically; it could be performed quite well.

2. Aaron Carter – Aaron’s Party (Come Get It): If you haven’t heard this, you must. It definitely falls in to the category of “It’s so bad that I like it.” Sample lyric: ” I always try to be the flyest kid on the block\The popular one with the risin’ stock\So that’s when I had this bright idea(For the party of the month)\ Nah, the party of the year.” Don’t forget to add pre prepubescent 12-year-old voice. And rapping.

3. Ricky Martin – She’s all I ever had: Yes, I know, it’s a regular pop ballad. But it’s got a sitar playing at an uncomfortably loud volume filling in for cheesy 80’s lead guitar riff! A sitar! Isn’t that so hip? Ricky Martin is multi-cultural! Rejoice and shake your bon bons! Hurrah! Do I smell a collaboration with Yanni?

4. Spice Girls – Holler: Ooh, it’s a new one. It’s a little boring, but it could almost pass for a once respectable Timbaland production. It’s definitely dollar store R&B, but at least it makes the classification. Oh, and lucky for us all four of them sing this time (except Mel C who looks more and more like a mutant). For real. For the spirit of this list, I will correct myself and say 4reel. It’s only appropriate.

5. All Saints – Pure Shores: This time around, All Saints are trying to gain musical credibility by collaborating with Madonna’s favorite whipping boy, Orbital. The result? Well, I won’t say “A four minute piece of rotting crutons” (oopsie poo! I just did), but I will say that it is heads and shoulders above any of the songs listed above. Mmmmmmmm….. Appletons.

To some degree I feel liberated as I have now answered my brother’s seemingly impossible question. In truth, we all know what I just did completely dodged the question instead of answering it. Who really cares? Because at the time I put down the last period in this sentence, N’SYNC will be 1 hour closer to becoming bigger than Jesus.

  • N’SYNC? Bigger than Jesus?
  • by Terence Leung
  • Published on June 1st, 2001

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