Album Review | *NSYNC’s ‘No Strings attached’

I’ve never been a huge *NSYNC fan. I’ve liked the “hits” but didn’t listen to their full albums until later in life. Most people were shocked to hear that I’ve never listened to their iconic album “No Strings Attached” in full. I’ve listened to the singles, and I like the singles but just never heard the record until now. It’s time to walk about what is considered to be the best *NSYNC album “No Strings Attached.”

But in the end, ya know it’s gonna be me

Released on March 21, 2000, “No Strings Attached” was the first album under their new label, Jive Records. The group had a very public legal battle with their former label RCA Records and their management team Trans Continental. There’s a whole big YouTube Original documentary on it called “Boy Boy Con,” and that would explain well better than I could. Long story short was that: The band got conned out of a lot of money by their manager, who claimed to be the sixth member of *NSYNC. The title of the album is based on a metaphor for the newfound freedom.

“We were all in a taxicab, and it was the first time we finally got our name back, and it was like, ‘This is it. We finally get to work on this album. What’s the concept?’” Lance Bass recalled on his Podcast ” The Daily Popcast With Lance Bass, “Chris Kirkpatrick was like, ‘Something about I got no strings on me… Pinocchio.’ I was like, ‘Perfect. Like, no strings attached.'”

“No Strings Attached” was their first step into the R&B genre, which they continued with for the rest of their career. With this album, *NSYNC influenced many artists and bands into genre-crossing. When they did it with “No Strings Attached,” it made them stand out more than their now label mates Backstreet Boys.

thoughts on the album

The album itself isn’t a very good one. It’s not a bad album, and I can see why it was highly rated at the time of its release. The record is excellent vocally as Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez are heard the most on the album. That’s not a bad thing, but it would just be nice to listen to the other voices like on their self-titled debut album.

Because they are testing out different genres with this album, the flow of the album not really there, it starts heavy with the first two singles, which was pretty much standard practice with Jive records releases. The songs are kind of all over the place. A lot of the songs are just filler and frankly not that good. The R&B influenced songs are rather good and the highlights. JC and Justin’s vocals sound well with R&B.

The lyrics are rather mature for a boy band at this time. They have a song called “Digital Get Down,” and it’s about cybersex. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s called sexting these days. Just instead of being through texting, it was done in a chatroom or an instant messenger. The lyrics were refreshing with how mature the lyrics were. The lyrics were refreshing. The only song that I honestly just hate with a burning passion is “Space Cowboy (Yippie Yi-yay).” There’s no redeeming quality from that song. It the worst song on the album. It’s not even Lance Bass singing it, so what’s the point of it?

Verdict

“No Strings Attached” didn’t age well. It’s still an influential and iconic album, but it’s just not a fun listening experience. The R&B influenced songs are the highlights of the album while the pop songs were filler songs that weren’t so good. I do recommend checking out the album as it’s a pop classic. We are still feeling the influences in it today through Ariana Grande’s “break up with your girlfriend i’m bored” sampling “It Makes Me Ill” and artists and bands using it as inspirations for switching genres.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Backstreet vs. *NSYNC vs. Britney: Who’s 2nd album will reign supreme?

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With the 20th anniversary of Britney Spears’ second album, “Oops!… I Did It Again,” I thought it would be fitting to rank the late 90s-early 00s big three’s second albums to see which album was the better album. In case you are lost, the big three are the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and Britney Spears. You can fight me on this because we all know that I am right. Let’s dive into this. It’s time to go war in the Pop Project Arena!

Click here to find out who’s better: *NSYNC or Backstreet Boys

The rules

So here’s how we are going to decide whose album will reign on top: I’ll be looking at how many records sold worldwide. I got my facts from Wikipedia because frankly, it’s all there and sited. While I don’t fully trust it on certain things, records sales are something that I believe. The reasoning behind worldwide records is that it’s the easiest to find. Keep in mind; these albums came in in a time where the internet was just getting started. Information isn’t easy to find from that time. Feel to state in the comments below your thoughts and which album is your favorite. Without further ado, let’s get started.

3rd Place: *NSYNC’S ‘No Strings Attached’

No Strings Attached” was released on March 20, 2000, it was the second album from *NSYNC. It was their first album on their new label Jive Records, the same label as Britney and Backstreet Boys. It was their first album to incorporate more of an R&B feel to the songs as well as them having more control over the record and production.

The album spawned four singles with “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me” being the top singles of both the album and their career. Worldwide, “No Strings Attached” sold 15,970,000 records. It also held the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 200 charts for eight weeks. It was one of the longest-running number-one albums of 2000. Fun Fact: This album held the record for most albums sold in one week. This record was previously held by Backstreet Boys’ “Millennium.” “No Strings Attached” is the album that *NSYNC is known for, and it’s easy to see why.

2nd Place: Britney Spears’ ‘Oops!… I Did It Again”

Click here for the review of “Oops!… I Did It Again”

Oops!… I Did It Again” was released on May 16, 2000. The album signaled the start of Britney’s exploration period. While it followed elements of teen pop from “Baby One More Time,” the album also saw her dive into the R&B genre. She would explore and perfect this more with the follow-up albums. The album debuted on the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 200. It would only be there for one week, but it held the number two spot for 15 weeks after Eminem’s third album “The Marshall Mathers LP” dethroned it.

The album was the highest debut-week album sales by a female artist for 15 years. It also spawned four singles with the title track and “Lucky” being the top singles off of the record. “Oops!… I Did It Again” sold 20,000,000 albums worldwide. As stated in the review for the album, this is the album that made Britney a household name.

1st Place: Backstreet Boys’ ‘Millennium’

Click here for the review of “Millennium”

Millennium” was released on May 18, 1999. While this album was the second album in the States, it was the third album overall (BSB started internationally). It’s also their first number one album in the US. It held that spot for ten weeks. After being called a “one-hit wonder” based on their previous works, “Millennium” was the album. The album had a mix of the usual boy band tropes as well as more mature lyrics based around events that occurred while they wrote the album

The album spawned four singles with “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” and “I Want That Way.” The latter being the most popular and iconic song. “Millennium” is still the hold the record of the most shipment sold in one year with 11 million in 1999. The album is one of the best-selling albums of all time with “Millennium” selling 24,000,000 albums worldwide. This album is pretty much iconic.

Thought?

I’m not shocked by how the albums did. Backstreet Boys was more well rounded than the other two in the beginning when it came to promotion. It’s kind of like *NSYNC as they didn’t perform as well internationally as they. Did in the States. Backstreet Boys performed better abroad than they did in the states before “Millennium.” Britney performed well both internationally and the States after “Oops!… I Did It Again.” I am shocked that Britney did better than her then boo Justin Timberlake. Overall, all three albums are fantastic. I recommend checking them out as they are a treat. Especially as throwback albums that define what pop sounded like in the late 90s and early 2000s.

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NSYNC vs Backstreet: The Battle for 90s and 00s Supremacy

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Before there was Team Jacob vs Team Edward, Team Paris vs Team Nicole, Team Conan vs Team Leno, and Team Selena vs Team Justin, there was one rivalry that took the hearts of everyone between the ages of 9 – 25 and started the rebirth of the pop music in the late 90s. They were constant featured on MTV (when they still had music on there) and breaking the hearts of the millions of girls.

The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC ruled the airwaves and all the country as they battled for the title of best boy band. While they never officially stated that there was a rivalry, there was always tension between the two fans. While the backstreet Boys has been named one of the best-selling boy band of all time, the question remains who exactly was the best boy band of the 90s and 00s?

Click here to test your BSB and *NSYNC lyric knowledge

Round 1Backstreet boys released their self-titled début album in August 1997, here in America. This album was released before as 2 albums internationally (Backstreet Boys in May 1996 and Backstreet’s Back also in August 1997). The album sparked six hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

It wasn’t until March 1998 when *NSYNC also released their self-titled début album (May 1997 in Germany),which had four hit single on the Hot 100 charts. Both albums did well on the charts with the albums peaking to number four and number two respectively. *NSYNC sold about 10,750,000 worldwide and Backstreet Boys sold 26,210,334 worldwide (all three albums)

Verdict: Backstreet Boys. While technically their first two albums released internationally before the actually début in America, both albums make up the US album, which is a compilation album but that’s a different story for a different day. Backstreet Boy’s still had two Hot 100 hits than *NSYNC as well.

Round 2 It’s wasn’t until their second album, and being on the same label, that their careers took off and the competition started to really heat up. Backstreet Boys’ “Millennium” album was released in the May 1999. Millennium spawned 4 hit singles (including the mega hit “I Want It That Way”) on the Hot 100 and was number one Billboard’s End-year chart for 1999. *NSYNC released “No String Attached” in March 2000. “No Strings Attached” had three hit singles on the Hot 100 and like Backstreet’s “Millennium”, it was number one on Billboard’s End-year chart for 2000. “No Strings Attached” sold 12,449,301 worldwide while “Millennium” sold 30,000,000 worldwide

Verdict: Backstreet Boys again. While both album are highly considered to be the best pop albums released in their respective decades, *NSYNC sold 17,550,699 less than the Backstreet Boys did.

Round 3 With the success of “Millennium” and “No Strings Attached”, Backstreet and *NSYNC’s third albums was highly anticipated had critics and others wondering if they could capitalize on their second albums success. With that thought in mind, Backstreet Boy’s released “Black & Blue” in November 2000. The album three singles weren’t as successful as “Millennium” singles, only one placed in the top 10, but they were still managed to make the Billboard Hot 100 charts. In July 2001, *NSYNC released “Celebrity” album. “Celebrity” came out eight months after Backstreet’s album. *NSYNC’s singles charted better than their rivals with all three singles placing in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album itself sold 5,457,203 worldwide and “Black & Blue” sold 24,000,000.

Verdict: While this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, Backstreet Boys. While most fans didn’t like “Black & Blue”, it still managed to outsell “Celebrity”.

Sadly, both *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys took a hiatus after the release of their third albums. *NSYNC never came back together and even Lance Bass stated that the band was over due to Justin Timberlake’s successful solo career. Backstreet Boys returned and released one more album as a Quintet before becoming a quartet when Kevin Richardson left in 2006 in order to “purse other interest” and releasing four more albums (including one where they formed a super group with legendary boy band New Kids on the Block). Kevin returned in 2012 and the band was recently blessed with a star on the hollywood walk of fame and are getting ready to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

BSB

If it was just based off of record sales in America, *NSYNC would have won with them selling 26,000,000 albums and Backstreet Boys selling 18,642,300 albums. The downfall of *NSYNC was the fact that were never able to capture the international market like Backstreet did. This might have been because Backstreet Boys’ released two albums internationally before they released their album in the states while still releasing singles in the states. Here’s a lovely info graphic that will break it down even better!

Who do you think is the better boyband: *NSYNC or Backstreet Boys? Leave your thoughts in a comment below

 

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