What ever happened to boy bands?
By LisaNewlin on March 16, 2013
I rocked out in my car today to a catchy tune from N SYNC. Which tune, you ask? Does it matter? All of them are catchy as those boys know how to rock a beat.
As I fist pumped to the refrain, I had an epiphany. I realized there really aren't boy bands flooding the pop market like there used to be. Obviously, this is a travesty. I would think magazines like Tiger Beat and YM would be all over this issue, as I'm sure they're running out of people to put on the covers of their magazines. (Do either of these magazines even exist anymore? If so, where would one hypothetically subscribe?)
This lack of new boy bands is clearly an issue of national importance and further investigation must be done immediately. Since I had nothing better to do, and because I've been watching episodes of Sherlock and felt intellectual, I took on the task of figuring out why boy bands are no more.
In looking into this issue, I was forced to ask some very serious and analytical questions about this void in the music industry. Are there just no more talented young men available to sing in a group and gyrate their manly parts in some not-so-manly ways? Actually, I may have just solved the mystery. With singers like Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers, I'm realizing there really isn't any young talent out there anymore, nor is there anyone even remotely good looking in the music industry. Buy a shirt with a photo of Zac Efron on it? Pft! Why waste the cotton? (or the poly cotton blend, which is my preference).
Doesn't America know we are in a boy band crisis? I can only look at my Joey McIntyre poster for so long before the paper tears and the colors fade (along with poor Joey's quickly receding hairline). I need a new guy to fawn over, as the arguments between my girlfriends about who is cuter, Donnie or Jordan, have pretty much been played out. (Donnie is totally cuter, but then again, I love a bad boy. I mean, look at my husband. Okay, I can't get the photo of my husband to upload here, but you can see his photo at http://www.rantingseriously.com/2013/02/deep-thinking-what-ever-happened-to-boy.html)
I remember a time when you could turn on MTV and see videos of a shirtless guy singing a love ballad, standing by a waterfall while the wind blew and birds flew lovingly into the sunset. Not anymore. Now it's all about teen moms and pimping rides that should otherwise be burned.
How else are young girls supposed to learn about true love if a group of pubescent teens don't tell them the way through music and synthesizers?
**Note: My parents didn't allow me and my brother to watch MTV because they thought it was all sex and parties and watching it would turn us into bitches and hoes. So if anyone asks, or if my parents are reading this blog (unlikely), then this reference to MTV is only based upon second hand knowledge. It's definitely not from my brother and I watching it in my parents bedroom when we got home from school. Definitely not. And we also never raided my mom's closet for her "secret" stash of candy bars that was no secret at all. Nope. The dogs ate those while watching MTV. Those shih tzus are not to be trusted.
Is there a reason they're gone? (The boy bands, not the candy bars.) Now that they are gone, the next question is, where did they go? In the 80s and 90s they were everywhere. You couldn't walk into a Spencer's Gifts store without a cardboard cut out of Boys II Men in matching white sweaters staring you in the face. (They were usually strategically placed next to the board games about sex and the coffee mugs with nipples.) Now, those cardboard cutouts are nowhere to be found, and the nipple mugs are left all alone to fend for themselves on the cold shelf.
Did boy bands simply run their course along with mall bangs and buying perfume at drug stores? (Say what you will, Luv's Baby Soft made the best perfume that $4.99 could buy. Period.)
Now that I think about it, I don't want to know where the boy bands went, as it may shatter my image of them. I suspect some of them are working regular jobs building houses or stocking shelves with nipple mugs. I don't really want to think about that possibility though, as that's not how I know them. If one of the Hanson brothers ever asks me if I want paper or plastic for my purchased items, I might just breakdown right in the store. However, I suppose this specific scenario would never happen because I go to a cheap grocery store where I have to bag my own groceries. Now that I think about it, maybe that part of the reason I go there..to avoid disappointment.
If the boy band members are now working regular jobs, do they whistle while they work? I realize that was more of a seven dwarfs thing but since these guys are somewhat musically inclined (except for Donny Wood), I would think they would bring music to their work day. If I hear someone humming "I Swear" the next time I go to the bank, I will smile and know that boy bands are alive and well, they are just living apart from each other and contributing to a 401k.
Deep down, I feel like I know the reason boy bands have become extinct. It's truly a response to the loss of one of the leaders of the best boy band to start it all...Jackson 5. Back then, when Michael Jackson was definitively male, he started the boy band movement with his moonwalk ways. His love songs were inspiring, but also were as easy as ABC and as simple as 1-2-3.Those songs were the foundation upon which boy bands developed (although, that song certainly scoffed at anyone suffering from dyslexia.
So perhaps with Michael's passing, the universe and Maurice Starr decided there was no use continuing to crank out a "New Edition" of bands of boys. Record labels stopped scoping out shopping malls looking for boys with minimum talent and maximum abs. It's a shame the world is losing out on all the deep feelings these singers have. I will truly miss a group of 17 year old boys belting out lyrics to a song that was really written by a bitter divorced woman in her 40s struggling with alcohol abuse.
So I guess we all need to say goodbye to boy bands and that era. I don't think that trend will come back, although if RuPaul can revive his/her career, maybe there's hope for boys (and girls) everywhere.
Until then, we will just have to get out our mixed cassette tapes and be careful not to hit the "record" button while pushing "play." Maybe 98 Degrees was right; this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
Lisa Newlin Embarrassing myself so you don't have to. You're welcome. http://www.rantingseriously.com
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