Boy bands battle it out for fans' approval
By LAURA ROMPF
Scene Music Critic
For the fifth straight week, teen idols 'N Sync retained the top spot on the national music charts with their sophomore album No Strings Attached. A similar phenomenon occurred last May when the Backstreet Boys' released their second album Millennium. Although both albums have quality pop songs, Millennium's overall variety makes it a much stronger album.
'N Sync's first release off their new album, "Bye Bye Bye," is one of the album's best songs. It has catchy lyrics and a fun beat that has proven to start people dancing at any SYR. Their second release, "It's Gonna Be Me," offers the same qualities — a fun, danceable song. However, the two songs closely resemble each other and thus leave the listener longing for more variety.
On the other hand, Backstreet's first release, "I Want It That Way," differed considerably from their second song, "Larger Than Life." "I Want it That Way" gave listeners only a few lines of lyrics to memorize and this made it an instant hit, allowing even the most inexperienced musicians to sing along. "Larger Than Life" was a tribute to Backstreet fans and brought back the techno-synthesized sounds which Milli-Vanilli and New Kids on the Block made famous years ago.
Backstreet's third release added even more variety to their first two songs. "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely," is a ballad that emphasizes the pain of losing loved ones for various reason. "Show Me the Meaning" is not the typical boy band ballad: I-love-you-so-much-please-come-back-to-me. Rather, it expresses deeper feelings of rejection, loss and despair.
Another strong ballad is found on 'N Sync's No Strings Attached. "This I promise You" is enough to make any girl tear up. "I've loved you forever / in lifetime's before." Honestly girls — what line is sweeter than that? However, a few tracks later "Digital Get Down" is the worst song on No Strings Attached. I'm a huge fan of 'N Sync but this is simply not a good song — unless, of course, you're into cyber lovin'. Unlike "Digital Get Down," none of the songs on Millennium have to be skipped. Millennium is completely solid. The album has two ballads "I Need You Tonight" and "Back to Your Heart" which showcase the Boys' voices and prove to skeptics they do have talent.
Both albums do include a "hardcore" track — or at least as hardcore as a boy band can be. Backstreet Boys' "Don't Want You Back" describes one of the band member's encounters with an ex-girlfriend who liked him for his fame and fortune and simply used him. But he's getting the last laugh: "Don't bother tellin' me your reasons why / just let us sing a story about you and I / I don't want you back." 'N Sync's song "It Makes Me Ill" illustrates the same type of hardcore lyrics while describing an old flame's new love. It says, "'Cause now I know the competition's very slim to none / And I can tell by lookin' that he's not the one / He's not the type you said you like / his style is wack / clothes are bad / come on girl let him go / I want you back." That's enough to make you leave their women alone, huh guys?
Overall, I'd recommend buying both albums. As much as people don't want to admit it, Backstreet and 'N Sync songs are instant hits at dances and just singing along to them can improve your mood. Backstreet does offer more variety, but both albums have hits that make them a must have for any CD collection.
All Scene Stories for Tuesday, May 2, 2000