We're talking *NSYNC, SoulDecision, 112 and more.
In the early 2000s, UK band Blue stood out from the tidal wave of teen pop by debuting with the truly unusual smash hit All Rise. An anomaly in the boy band catalogue, its unique, almost Western twang teamed with the clever lyrical court case storytelling device made Blue seems like the one to watch. Add in an urban element much more suited to their deeper, stronger vocals than the likes of 5ive, and no noticeable vocal weak link, and by the time Blue released their slick, breezy cover of Next’s classic Too Close, it’s hard to believe it was almost over by this point. Never quite breaking the US market and suffering public backlash due to some controversial statements about 9/11, the band never managed to top the success of those singles. Nevertheless, they regrouped in 2009 and have been touring on and off ever since. Sure, they were dropped from Sony after their 2015 album flopped but perhaps building up a YouTube following could see this talented quartet find success again?
Although technically not a boy band due to the fact that they played instruments and wrote their own songs, SoulDecision certainly fit the part with their upbeat, pop sound, their cheesy music videos and their boy-ish good looks and bleach-blonde hair. The Canadian group achieved success when they released their debut album in 2000, with the R&B infused first single “Faded” soaring to the top of the charts. SoulDecision’s follow-up album did not fare so well, and the pop band slowly faded into obscurity. The lead singer, Trevor Guthrie eventually made it back into the spotlight, singing on Armin van Buuren’s 2013 track “This Is What It Feels Like”. Although the group did not survive, SoulDecision’s second single “Ooh It’s Kinda Crazy” will always live on in our hearts. It’s an effortlessly catchy pop tune that still to this day gets 20-somethings everywhere singing along.
When someone mentions boybands, there are few things that might come to mind like hair gel, cheesy dance moves and a ton of teen girls. However, if you rewind back to the early 2000s, the R&B game had a slightlyly different definition of the term, and one of my favorites of their male collectives was 112. From "Peaches & Cream" to "Dance with Me" and guest spots on tracks by Puff Daddy and Allure, this quartet knew how to get your bump and grind on ... even if they were dressed in Fubu or Southpole.
Most people probably consider The Beatles as the most influential boy band of all time, and the Backstreet Boys might be the best-selling boy band in history, but it's all about *NSYNC. For me, the guys were a staple in my childhood and adolescence, most notably their song "Pop" off their 2001 Celebrity album. It was truly the beginning of the end of the band when Justin Timberlake began distancing himself creatively from the group, shining through with co-writing credits on the song and landing his own beat-boxing bit in it. The song took home four MTV Video Music Awards for Best Group Video, Best Pop Video, Best Dance Video, and Viewers Choice and saw a performance that featured the King of Pop himself, the legendary Michael Jackson. (And yes, I understand the assignment was to talk about the band in general, but it was my loophole to randomly praise JT.)