131: “This Must Be Pop” – *NSYNC

Following the breakout success of the Backstreet Boys in the mid-to-late 90s, a wave of warbling wannabes took to the airwaves, all vying for coveted poster space on the walls of teenagers across the globe. For many 90s kids, the latter half of the decade is best remembered as a hunky blur of chiseled abs, soulful harmonies, and frosted tips.

But only one band had what it took to be a true rival to the Backstreet Boys. That is, of course, *NSYNC, another Orlando-bred quintet whose origin story is strikingly similar to BSB’s. That other major boy band’s breakout in the U.S. took place in 1998, when “I Want You Back” announced the arrival of five new dreamboats for impressionable young girls to obsess over. (Or hate with fiery vengeance, if they were BSB 4 LYFE.)

In this episode, the When We Were Young podcast revisits Lance, Chris, J.C., Joey, and Justin and tries to classify the type of thing they do. We also discuss our favorite and least favorite members of the group (prepare for surprises!), and debate whether their music still gets us high, or if we’re prepared to say “Bye Bye Bye” to *NSYNC’s entire catalog.

Did we drive ourselves crazy overdosing on bubblegum pop for this two-parter on the top gentleman crooners of the late 90s? You bet. But God must have spent a little more time on this episode of the podcast, because after chatting about every *NSYNC single, we still find time to reminisce about boy band also-rans like 98 Degrees and 5ive. 

*NSYNC die-hards, proceed with caution. We can’t guarantee this discussion won’t tear up your heart!

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