The ‘90s was a battle for supremacy among boy bands, girl bands, grunge, alt rock, ska, punk — the list goes on. The variety made for some great options for your Walkman disc player and for curating a library of mix CDs. For those who preferred pop, this led to some pretty fierce schoolyard discussions as to which ’90s boy band was the best — the one that not only made the best music but also clearly seemed to get you no matter what. Over a decade later, it has been decided which one won this debate, and clearly, that band was *NSYNC. Let me tell you why.
No, it’s not just because it contained Justin Timberlake (though I will admit — that’s a good enough reason on its own.) From their earliest self-titled record to the pure gold that was the No Strings Attached album to even the Celebrity era, *NSYNC routinely got what it was like to be a kid growing up in the '90s. Listening to their lyrics and watching their videos now is like getting transported in a time capsule you never want to leave, one that reminds you of all those feelings of young love wrapped in memories of cringeworthy middle school moments wrapped in another layer of nostalgia for those days. And if you got to see them in concert at the time (and let it be known I am eternally jealous of you for this), you understood the pure magic that was Joey, JT, JC, Lance, and Chris harmonizing on stage, letting you know that they felt those feels and saw right through to your heart (while you were, at the same time, tearin' it up of course). Still don't believe that *NSYNC got you more than any other '90s boy band? See proof below.
They Were All About That Creative ‘90s Spelling
From the Delia's (AKA, dELiA*s) catalog to AIM chatrooms, *NSYNC understood the unnecessary use of the pointless uppercase letters and asterisks. It made so much sense at the time for it to be spelled *NSYNC, and years later, it still feels right.
They Shared Your Love Of Choreographed Dance
Whether you were on cheer squad or dance team, those routines were gold. And if you weren't, don’t lie and say you didn’t learn those videos in your room at home with your friends, because we all did.
That epic Christmas album, Home For Christmas, still gets played every holiday season, because who could forget the incredible vocal stylings on the classic "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays?" There will never not be a Dec. 25 when this song (and album) doesn't encompass everything you have, and always will, love about Christmas.
They Knew What It Was Like To Be Around Your Middle School Crush
"It's tearin' up my heart when I'm with you, but when we are apart I feel it too. And no matter what I do, I feel the pain, with or without you." These lyrics, courtesy of *NSYNC, personified your middle school crush. Yep, that was right in the feels.
And Knew What A Fool Your Middle School Crush Was For Overlooking You
Clearly, when they finally got their head on straight, your crush would come to realize that whoever they were currently dating was whack and that you, the perfect person, was waiting there all along. *NSYNC was there to remind you that in the end, it was "gonna" be you they picked, so to hold out hope. (And, even if this didn't happen, it was nice to know they had your back no matter what.)
They Crafted The Ultimate Breakup Song When That Middle School Relationship Ended
And the signature move to let them know that you were peacing out, encapsulated in their video forever.
Then Totally Also Had A Song For When You Inevitably Wanted To Get Back Together
Breaking up and making up was adolescence in a nutshell. Luckily, if you changed your mind about that relationship, all you had to play was this.
They Even Got You When The ‘90s Turned Against Pop Bands
Yes, even when you were so over the pop era, *NSYNC was right there with you, complaining, "what's the deal with this pop life, and when's it gonna fade out?" Except, then they totally reminded you of why it was awesome again and why you could never abandon it even in the midst of all that '90s cynicism.