90s Time Travel: NSYNC & Other Boy-Band Magic


It’s downpouring outside my window, I’m making beaded jewelry on my bed, eating a cinnamon roll…and listening to NSYNC. But not just NSYNC from any random point in their career…genuine 1997 “Tearin’ Up My Heart” NSYNC. When Justin’s vocals were still in whiny, pubescent-boy stage, when the guys had frosted tips, and their music videos featured baggy khaki pants and organized dance steps. So in other words, I’m seven years old again at the moment.

I think what I miss the most from the 90s were these boy bands…their corny but excusably good choreography, those harmonies, and appearances on TRL or Nickelodeon that would have my bony and bespectacled, dorky self raging with unshakeable joy. NSYNC was on my gum packages, album jackets, pencils, posters, and more. (So was BSB and Britney Spears, but for some reason they never yielded the same thrill from me).

The now-disbanded group’s self-titled album NSYNC is over 15 years old, which in turn makes me feel totally old…but that’s beside the point. The music contained on this special little EP has lasted! It STILL sounds like gold–to me, my mom, and probably a lot of other people who appreciated their talents 18 years ago. All goofiness and simple, teen-crush lyricism aside, the core of the songs (sound and production) are incredibly addictive. Simply put, in 2014, it’s still good-ass music…and will be for a while. This stuff was meant to last.

Life flies by at a disturbing rate, but we can provide ourselves with a mental pause once in a while, with help from our favorite 90s boy bands–whether 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys, Five, etc…and ESPECIALLY NSYNC. All of ’em will take you back in time, to the best and worst parts of elementary school days, time in middle school, or whatever period in your life during which you were blessed with their blow-up in the music world.


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