Saturday, 17 November 2012

*NSync 'Bye Bye Bye'

Chart Peak: 3


Vocal quintet *NSync, AKA Lance, JC, Joey, Chris and Justin, are big news in their native America - the band's eponymous debut album sold over ten million copies in the States and yielded four US No1 singles!... Following the No3 success of 'Bye Bye Bye', their biggest UK hit to date, the boys look set to conquer the UK pop scene too.

This group's name seems to be spelt various different ways, so (as with some other odd typography on this album) I've followed the sleeve credit. Whilst this was indeed their first Now! appearance, I'm not entirely sure they needed this much of an introduction: they'd scored two Top 10 hits in 1999, both re-releases of singles that had originally been released as early as 1997. At this point if you didn't know who they were you probably didn't care. Consistent success was always hard for them to come by on this side of the Atlantic where they always seemed overshadowed by the Backstreet Boys: indeed founding member Chris Kirkpatrick was a rejected Backstreet Boy, who persuaded that group's manager to let him form a spin-off act. Funnily enough, it was *NSync who seemed to have the bigger success in their homeland, whilst only German-speaking European countries seemed to have enough appetite for both acts to be massive at the same time.
By this point, both groups had fallen out with the manager, and in *NSync's case with the record company too, so the titles of this single and its parent album No Strings Attached were openly intended as references to their pleasure at successfully suing their way out of both associations. The song itself of course makes no direct reference to these events, recasting the song in the typical boy-girl context their fans would understand. There are some signs of a harder-edged approach on this than on some of their previous hits, though not to anything like the extent they claimed up at the time, and it's a far cry from the complexity of Timbaland and some other producers of the time. In fact of all the tracks so far on this album the one it most closely resembles is probably 'Day And Night', which shares that insistent emphasis on the title lyric and little else in the verses and chorus.

Oh, and in case you didn't know, that "Justin" who's the last member named in the sleeve note is the now immensely famous Justin Timberlake.

Also appearing on: Now 47, 52
Available on: Greatest Hits

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