Backstreet Boys vs. 'N Sync
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Cuteness counts for plenty in calculating which group is the better boy band
Stephanie Simons; The News Tribune
[ 'N Sync fans... if you don't like what she wrote, contact her at email@example.com ]
All is not smooth in boy-band land.
First, 'N Sync announced that it's leaving RCA Records for Jive, the label that's home to the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears.
Then, RCA and 'N Sync management filed a $150 million suit against the band.
Now, Jive's at risk of losing the Backstreet Boys, who don't seem to want to share their home with the competition. The Boys threatened to bail if 'N Sync joins the family.
My advice to Jive: Do whatever you can to make things right with the Backstreet Boys.
Why? They're better. And here's how:
1. They were here first.
The Backstreet Boys formed in 1993 and were working their butts off in front of European audiences back when some 'N Syncers were still Mousketeers.
'N Sync formed in 1995, the year the Boys had their first hits in Europe. But 'N Sync didn't hit it big until a Disney Channel live special in 1998. Ironically enough, that spot was supposed to go to the Backstreet Boys, but they bailed. 'N Sync stepped in and took off.
2. The Backstreet Boys are cuter.
We're talking boy bands here. What do you expect me to rate, instrumental virtuosity? Besides, that's a tie. These guys aren't about playing, even though several of them dabble. Being a big-time boy band is about looking good, and, oh yeah - singing.
'N Sync has two resident hotties: baby-faced blond Justin Timberlake and square-jawed sweetie JCChasez.
The Backstreet Boys have three: baby-faced blond Nick Carter, square-jawed A.J. McLean and Brian Littrell, who's got a great smile, wavy hair, chiseled features, charisma to burn and ... somebody stop me before I swoon.
3. The Backstreet Boys have better songs.
Doubt me? Well, just try getting "I Want It That Way" out of your head. Even people who claim to hate the Backstreet Boys appreciate that tune, and for good reason. It's probably the best love song of 1999 and definitely the best boy-band song ever.
And by that I mean it's the kind of song that a 13-year-old Backstreet Boys maniac won't wince at when she hears it in 2009. Try saying that about "Please Don't Go Girl," a shrill hit for New Kids on the Block in 1988.
And try saying that about "I Drive Myself Crazy" by 'N Sync.
4. Did I mention that the Boys are cuter?
Two words: Lance Bass. Yes, the 'N Syncer can sing. But the fish-eyes and spiky hair gotta go.
5. The Backstreet Boys have made more of an impression on pop music - through volume as much as anything else.
They've still got one of the top albums in the country - "Millennium," which set a record for most units sold in a week (1,134,000, destroying the mark previously held by Garth Brooks). "Millennium" also set second- and third-week sales records and hit No. 1 in 25 countries, including Canada, Greece, Iceland, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden and Thailand.
Since May, they've sold more than 8 million copies of "Millennium" in the United States. And it's not all teens doing the buying. Young girls may be the band's most vocal fans, but they have more mature devotees as well.
6. The Backstreet Boys are cuter.
Two more words: Chris Kirkpatrick. OK, he's in 'N Sync because he founded the group, but he's weird. What's up with his wild dreadlocky, braidy hair? And isn't he, like, 35 years old?
7. The Backstreet Boys are here tonight.
Love the one you're with, baby.
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SIDEBAR: Meaty role models
The Backstreet Boys didn't just open the door for 'N Sync - they also inspired another supercute singing group - the Meaty Cheesy Boys.
You may have seen them on TV, harmonizing the praises of Jack-In-The-Box's Ultimate Cheeseburger.
They're just a parody, which means they're even less real than other pre-fab popsters. But they have fans and a Web site (www.meatycheesyboys.com).
"So far everyone seems to love the Meaty Cheesy Boys," reports Jack-In-The-Box spokeswoman Kathleen Finn.
Look for the spot to run through the end of November.
It's not the first time Jack-In-The-Box has capitalized on a pop trend. Back in 1997, they created the Spicy Crispy Chicks as an homage to the Spice Girls.
- Stephanie Simons, The News Tribune
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