The poetic, playful and prophetic musings of quintessential voices trying to keep up with life

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Backstreet Boys vs. 'N Sync

My life was changed forever when I got my first Backstreet Boys CD
It was like the gods had rained down sweet, sweet blessings down onto us mere mortals in the form of a quintet of 20-year olds. Sure, they were a little old for me... but as an 8-year old, I didn't know the difference. All I knew was that I was listening to greatness.

I hated 'N Sync. Oooh did I hate them. They were the devil. They were the Satan to the God that was The Backstreet Boys. They were the enemy. I managed to have friends that preferred 'N Sync to The Backstreet Boys, but it was, admittedly, a rift in our relationship.

Through the years, I have, perhaps, matured more. I have listened to the occasional 'N Sync song, and I have come to the conclusion that I may have been a bit hasty to dismiss them. From the black and white world when I was 8, I have discovered that the world is made up of shades of gray (maybe more than 50 though), and neither side had to be "good" or "bad." Maybe they could both be good!

I'll admit it; after being a lifelong Backstreet Boys fan, I bought four 'N Sync CDs at the store the other day. Their title album, "No Strings Attached," "Celebrity," and one of their Christmas CDs. I admit it, and I'll even admit that they're good. Really good. I've been jamming, ok.

But, as the feminist that I undoubtedly am, I found myself listening to the lyrics and wondering, "Which boy band is more woman-friendly? I wonder which has a more inclusive message?" I mean, I can't have my future little girls listening to music which doesn't treat her like an equal. So, here begins my study: ARE THE BACKSTREET BOYS OR 'N SYNC MORE FEMINIST-Y?*

*Yes, I will be using the word "feministy" in this entire blog.

For the sake of my study, I picked one CD each. Both CDs are from around the same year and are both the second CDs of each band. I haven't looked at the songs or lyrics from either CD yet, so I honestly have no idea which one will win out here.


And here we have the contenders: On the left, The Backstreet Boy's "Millennium." On the right, 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached." Both good CDs. "Millennium" was released in 1999, and "NSA" in 2000. 12 tracks in each CD. I'll look at 4 tracks each to keep this blog below 16 pages/scrolls. LET'S DO THIS THING.

Since the BSBs are on the left and I read left to right, we'll start with them. 

"I Want it That Way." 
From first glance, I'd say F-. Don't be demanding things of me. I'm not your slave, I'm your partner. THEN you listen to the song. Brian comes in all sexy-like, "You are my fire // the one desire // believe when I say // I want it that way." YES SIR, BRIAN. You see, he likes me the way I am. I set him on FIRE WITH PASSION. And Nick comes in, "... Can't reach to your heart // when you say // I want it that way." I totally get it. You can't be demanding of each other in a relationship. You have to work together. At the same time, Nick should really listen to your feelings and concerns if you really have a problem and WANT it that way. Maybe you even need it. Maybe I don't like like the way you folded the clothes. Maybe you accidentally put rat poison in the soup. I don't want it that way. I think this song is about listening to each other and not demanding your own needs go before everyone elses'. That's my take. I give it a B+ for being Feministy.

"It's Gotta Be You." 
This seems troublesome. "Baby it's the way you make me // kinda get me go crazy // never wanna stop." YOU'D BETTER STOP IF I SAY NO. And in NO WAY did "I" make you go crazy. You are in charge of your feelings and your penis. I'm glad I inspire passion in you, cause that's hot. And just because I'm a feminist does not mean I don't like you and maybe wanna do some cool things with you. But don't act like you have no control over your hormones, cause I know you do. "I can't control it any more." WHAT DID I JUST SAY?! You know I love you, but you are not doing a good job of listening to me and you are responsible for the control you have over yourself. Ok cool. D+ for being Feministy.

"Don't Wanna Lose You Now." 
Ok now, my boys are pulling through on this one! "Never thought that I'd be left behind // that I was stronger than you, baby." Thank you. I don't think I'm necessarily stronger than you either, and I really appreciate that you think we're equals. "Whatever reason to life that I've had // my place was always beside you." I LOVE IT WHEN YOU TELL ME SEXY THINGS LIKE THIS. "Don't wanna lose to loneliness // girl I know we can win." I KNOW WE CAN TOO CAUSE WE'RE A TEAM. OMG I LOVE YOU. Solid A for being Feministy.

"The One." 
I'm a little split on this one, mostly cause I really love it. "I guess you were lost when I met you // still there were tears in your eyes... There are you, wild and free // reaching out like you needed me... I'll be the one // Who will make all your sorrows undone." I'm gonna be honest, this seems a little cocky to me. Like, "I will help you, poor dear, because I will protect you from all the scary things that you can't deal with." But at the same time, this girl they're singing too clearly needs some help. She's crying, and she needs a shoulder to cry on and someone to tell her it's going to be alright. I've been there. "You need me like I need you // we can share our dreams coming true." OK SOLD. I think this is a feministy song, right? It's maaaybe on the edge, but feminists cry too. Feminists need help and love and stuff OK. B for being Feministy.

Ultimate grade: B


"Bye Bye Bye." 
I mean, how was I not going to do this song? "You're probably gonna start a fight // I know this can't be right... I loved you endlessly // when you weren't there for me // so now it's time to leave and make it alone." Is it just me, or this totally a song about a woman getting out of a shitty, abusive relationship? PERHAPS. And perhaps the gender doesn't matter and feminists can support ANYONE getting out of a shitty, abusive relationship. GO GIRL. OR GUY. DO YO THANG. I SUPPORT YOU. Don't stay with someone who doesn't appreciate you. GOOD MESSAGE. Solid A for being Feministy.

"It's Gonna Be Me." 
I'm not so hot about this one. "That it made you believe in // no man, no cry // maybe that's why // every little thing I do // never seems enough for you... Baby when you finally // get to love somebody // guess what // it's gonna be me." Ok, I get it. I know you're frustrated cause this girl doesn't seem to dig you and she's been hurt and that is frustrating for you. I'm sorry that your life is so terrible because of her pain and all those pesky feelings. I know that you like her and you'd really like to have her like you in return, but that is NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. And what the hell makes you so sure that if she EVER loves again it will be you? You seem kind of judgmental to me. "You've got no choice, babe // but to move on... You're just too blind to see // but in the end you know it's gonna be me." OKAY NOW.  Watch this video and THEN get back to me. 

I get that it's annoying that women have feelings sometimes. You will have to get over it. D+ for being Feministy (you get a plus because it CAN be annoying. But so can you).

"It Makes Me Ill." 
I'm not even sure what to say about this... "I was hanging with the fellas // saw you with your new boyfriend, it made me jealous... I can tell by looking that he's not the one // he's not the type you said you liked... Come on girl, let him go // I want you back." OH I DIDN'T KNOW THAT ONCE WE BROKE UP YOU GOT TO CHOSE MY NEW LOVERS. COOL. I GET TO CHOOSE YOURS TOO, RIGHT? Honestly, I don't care if this is "Feministy" or not, it's just plain annoying. SHE LEFT YOU, AND PROBABLY FOR A REASON. LET IT BE, DUDE. For the love of God, stop creeping on her. I'm not saying girls don't do this too, cause we do. Just look at Pinterest and all the "He's gonna be SORRY" and "Haha his new GF is FAT" pins there are. Also super annoying. But the feminist point here is, you don't get to choose who she dates or hangs out with. She's an independent woman! And men deserve the same respect, so leave your ex the HELL ALONE. OK COOL RANT OVER. C- for being Feministy.

"No Strings Attached." 
Here's what I'm looking for! "I see the things he does to you // all the pain he puts you through // and I see what's really going on // staying out at night while you're by the phone." OMG I'VE EXPERIENCED THAT. Preach it JC. It's not cool that he's being a douchetool. I'm not cool with that, and it sounds like neither are you. Girl, you don't have to stay with someone who's controlling and tool-y. "But if you want it, here's my heart // no strings attached." Thank you! I appreciate that you're treating me like an equal and not putting unnecessary strings on your love. B+ for being Feministy.

Ultimate grade: C+

I'm calling this one for the Backstreet Boys!

Why yes, I found this on Google.

There we have it, folks. The Backstreet Boys are more feministy than 'N Sync. Which I think means they're better in every way. I KNEW THE WORLD WAS ACTUALLY BLACK AND WHITE... Or... Black and Blue! ;D

But in all seriousness, do you agree with the scores I gave the songs? Do you think I was too biased? Did I do some misinterpreting of lyrics? Do you somehow love 'N Sync more than the Backstreet Boys? Tell me your thoughts! I want controversy here!

Love - Madie


  1. Of course the backstreet boys are a thousand miles better than nsync. I agree with you, especially the first few paragraphs your wrote lol

    1. Thank you, I'm glad you understand about my obsession, haha! :)

      - Madie

  2. I tottaly agree with you girl. I love bsb to death and im only 14 years oldand im realyyyyyyy obsessed. Boys have their 20 th anniversary today. Congratualtions and KTSBPA<333


Any comments which are deemed strictly to hurt or insult are subject to deletion at the decision of the authors of Her/Story.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...