Opinion

Cawley: Let’s hear it for the boy (bands)

Music nostalgia has been strong for me lately.

Those who consider themselves to have a deep appreciation for music, who could also be referred to as music snobs, might be expecting me to be referring to classic rock or another genre of “real” music.

Or there’s also the type who claim they’d never be caught dead listening to anything mainstream that you’d hear on the radio — they pride themselves on listening to bands or artists that many people don’t know about.

But, nope, I’m talking about boy bands.

There were two incidents within the past few weeks that brought me back to my childhood days, when friends were formed, and arguments broke out, based on who liked the Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC.

One, the Backstreet Boys released a new single and judging from social media and YouTube views, people, other than me, actually liked it.

Then, I was watching the Billboard Music Awards and was perplexed at the craziness surrounding a K-pop boy band, BTS, whom I had heard of, but couldn’t name any of their songs.

During their performance, cameras kept shifting to show girls in the crowd, some of whom were crying or looked hysterical.

There I was, older now than the age group those young boy bands cater to, watching their performance and not really getting the appeal, but later remembering the craziness that surrounded the two really popular boy bands when I was growing up.

Back then, and here’s some nostalgia for others in their late 20s — it was common to flip on TRL everyday in the late 1990s — which Carson Daly hosted before landing his new cushy gig on The Voice — to see whether the Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC would have the top song on the countdown that day.

The arguments, now looking back seem pretty weird. Some that I remember participating in included the point that *NSYNC both sang and danced, which made them better, while Backstreet Boys spent a lot of time singing while sitting down. Or to argue for the Backstreet Boys, all of their members sang, while clearly *NSYNC only had two talented vocalists.

Clearly, the appeal of boy bands is still strong, with their fan base probably consisting of a lot of pre-teens and girls. The aforementioned BTS just hit the top of the Billboard charts with their new album.

And a recent generation just experienced the One Direction madness.

But for many of us ’90s kids, there are only two actual ones that matter.

The *NSYNC camp is still hoping for a reunion, which seems to be dependent on Justin Timberlake coming down to earth, while the Backstreet Boys are raking in tons of cash with their residency in Las Vegas, a nostalgia-filled concert comprised of their most popular songs.

And I know that from firsthand experience because I made the trip to Las Vegas for it last year. There are some things you just don’t grow out of.

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