'N Sync

Look, it's like this: I don't really begrudge these kids their fame, their money, their glory or their Britney. However, it's completely disturbing to me to turn on MTV (I could actually end this sentence right there) and see 'N Sync centerpiece Justin Timberlake playing Elton John in a video. And I don't mean current, bloated-with-success and hair-replacement-system Elton John; I mean he's playing Elton from back in the Caribou days, when he and his music were relevant. Something about this strikes me as so wrong, on a few different levels. However, I guess when you need someone to lip-synch your song, you go to a real pro.

See, part of it is that I just don't get 'N Sync. (And why should I?) They followed the Backstreet Boys, and by all rights, should have signaled to everyone that these contrived pop bands were on the way out, and helped kill the whole scene so we could return to Real Music. Instead, the opposite happened--they blew up. Sales of glow sticks and glitter blew up. And the phenomenon has persisted.

Now, I get the feeling the band is laughing at the public. (And why shouldn't they?) They were saddled with a horrible, cheesy name and have released albums with titles like No Strings Attached and now Celebrity, which, of course, bemoans celebrity. It's one long joke with no punch line in sight. Not to mention the fact they appear onstage in outfits and doing dance moves that would embarrass Captain EO. Yet people are still eating this up.

I suppose there's worse things to let your young daughters do on a Wednesday night, but me, if I were in that spot, I'd be pushing my kids to listen to blink-182 or Lit. At least they have a (rounded) edge to their music, as opposed to the amorphous pablum these fellas are hawking.

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Chris Ryall