Thursday, July 7, 2011
Although I’m still a few months out from my wedding, this weekend I’m traveling to celebrate with some of my girlfriends for a bachelorette party. In the grand spirit of celebration, potential inebriation, silly sashes, and age-inappropriate tiaras, a collection of 90s mood music seemed in order. What better way, I figured, to get into the celebratory mood than with a boy band pregame playlist? No way better, of course.
Truthfully, the notion for this playlist stemmed from my friends’ slightly embarrassing request that I bring my iPod (my vintage pink 2004 mini model) to the weekend’s festivities. I warned my friend that since I lost the cord to update the iPod sometime around 2005, the playlists have been virtually frozen in time. While she assured me it would be fine and to bring it anyway, I mentally calculated the cheese factor of my carefully constructed party playlists. Deciding the nostalgia appeal outweighed the inevitably embarrassment of these decade plus-old songs, I figured I’d bring out the big guns. By guns, obviously, I mean synthesizers and impressively pitch-perfect prepubescent harmony compositions.
I’ve opted to share the most incriminating of these playlists here with you, with the understanding that you may feel free to mercilessly mock my musical mindset. Go ahead, I can take it. I also promise not to tell if you choose to reconstruct this playlist on your own music device and dance to it alone in your room in preparation for a night out, though I retain that you should probably cite you found the idea here somewhere in your footnotes or elsewhere in your music bibliography. Feel free to fear for my future wedding guests and the inevitable 90s pop-packed playlist I’ll probably roll out for the occasion. For now, though, get pumped up with some of these cornball boy band jams. You’re welcome.
Quit Playing Games with my Heart
This is the closest thing to a slow jam you’ll find on this list, and it serves as a nice transitional warm-up to build momentum for all the cheesy 90s dance music that’s to come. “Quit Playing Games” beat out several veritable contenders for this coveted warm-up spot, including 98 Degrees “I Do (Cherish You)” and All 4 One’s “I Swear.”
(You Got It) The Right Stuff
It’s physically impossible to hear this song without breaking into a hearty chorus of “oh-oh-oh-ohoh! oh-oh-oh-OH!” Seriously, try to stop yourself. It’s like a knee-jerk reflex for 90s children. This song is too magically catchy not to sing along, and that dancing in the video is just too ridiculous to hate on.
When the Lights Go Out
If I’m ever looking for inspiration for creative license for spelling, I should just remind myself of the 90s boy band 5ive. I may not agree that a number is an appropriate substitute for the first letter of that same number spelled out, but I will defend their right to make ridiculous faux-hip hop pop songs with inane lyrics and pulsating beats. That’s just common sense.
I Want it that Way
Judging by the 29 milllion YouTube views on a song that premiered long before we’d ever heard of YouTube, I’d say the Backstreet Boys have a pretty well-established 90s fan base. Their ability to gaze pensively into the camera while dressed in matching monochromatic ensembles isn’t bad, either.
I’ve posted this video on this site exceedingly more times than is remotely justifiable, but I can’t deny my love for it. It never fails to put me in the mood for summer, plus it kind of makes me want to beg my parents for $79 for obscene cutoff shorts and overpriced shirts that simply read “Abercrombie.”
Tearin’ Up my Heart
NSync - Tearin' up my Heart by SUUZAN
These old *NSync videos are pretty compelling proof that if you’re as good looking as Justin Timberlake, you can someday recover from the corniness of being a teen boy band star and reinvent yourself as cool. To the other guys, sorry. At least you had your moment of looking soulfully into the camera for three seconds before the attention deficit music video director cut to a shot of one of your bandmates being more attractive and interesting than you.
This song fits in so well on this list, it’s almost difficult to remember that it’s a parody. The satire of MTV’s 2ge+her is so spot-on that without listening carefully to the lyrics, it’s tough to differentiate it from its allegedly serious real life boy band counterparts. Actually, the lyrics aren’t even that far off, if you go on cheesiness and generic content alone.
I Want you Back
Where exactly do I go about getting one of those super-cool zip-front crewnecks Justin and JC are sporting in the opening shot? Those are pure 90s goodness, though the shiny jackets in the next cutaway come in a close second. I imagine someday our kids will watch these videos and tease us mercilessly that we once idolized this kind of incredibly ridiculous dancing and even bought Darrin’s Dance Grooves to try to replicate them in the privacy of our own homes. Wait, who am I kidding? Our kids won’t even know what music videos are. Someday we’ll wax poetic on the virtues of TRL and they won’t understand a word of it.
Step by Step
Scratch that whole thing about the last video being the cheesiest in the bunch. Rewind a few years and the dancing gets much, much more cornball. This video also has a little cameo by Donny’s little bro, aka Mark Wahlberg, right around 3:45. You might miss it and get distracted by the miming of the violin that follows it, as that is pretty awesome as well.
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
This list has made it painfully obvious I was something of a BSB fan back in the day. What can I say, I appreciated their artful music videos. You know, like this one, where their tour bus breaks down and they stranded at a haunted house. It’s the very very poor man’s “Thriller,” except the song has nothing whatsoever to do with what’s going on visually in the video.(Note: the original music video was causing annoying ads on the blog, so please enjoy the lyrics in lieu of actual video.)