TYF Column: Boy Band Resurgence. Why now?

Oh, it just feels like the 90’s doesn’t it?  Boy bands taking over the charts, selling out arenas, worldwide tours, etc. Ladies and gentleman, Justin Bieber isn’t the only one taking over the tween demographic, in fact there are plenty of new boy bands to choose from: The Wanted, One Direction, Mindless Behavior, Big Time Rush, IM5, etc and even MORE boy bands coming out on this day and age, the question remains on: Why now?  Ater some of the greatest pop boy bands of all time like Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and New Kids On The Block, who had massive fanbases but eventually their success died out, the bands ended up breaking up, some of the members had solo albums and even some of them ended up doing reunions not too long ago, why are boy bands suddenly popular again if they know what the outcome will be?

First of all, I believe that boy bands have a short life span, that they are bound to break up eventually, especially if we’re talking about a pop group. Most likely, the lead singer will try to have a solo career at some point, but let me just make it clear that we were so very lucky to have someone like Justin Timberlake come from a boy band, and I will be not only shocked, but impressed if any of the boy bands out there today can give us someone as talented as JT. Moving on, pop is a genre that has gone through evolution these past couple of years, now with the inclusion of a more electronic sound, it is slowly but surely getting back on top of the charts, and here is where these new boy bands come around. It seems to me as if there was a void in our hearts we needed to fill with bubblegum pop lyrics (or maybe it’s just me), but it’s their catchy lyrics and upbeat sound that I sincerely can’t escape, and America has fell into the trap too. Only a couple days ago, British boy band One Direction sold out Madison Square Garden in merely 10 minutes and announced an US tour for next year. They were also on Saturday Night Live alongside Sofia Vergara and also made an appearance on iCarly. If you haven’t heard “What Makes You Beautiful” or “One Thing” by now, you might be living under a rock, but then again you might have not been paying attention. Growing up with lyrics that go “I want it that way” and now hearing someone say “You’ve got that one thing“, gives me a faint déjà vu feeling, because I bet if I was 20 years old when BSB and *NSYNC were out, I would blatantly hate it, but then again I was around 7-8 at the time and I was obsessed with them. That’s why I completely get it if young girls are now obsessed with the clean-cut, matching clothed, flawless haired One Direction. Not only are their songs catchy, but they also remind me of pop music I used to love growing up.

This isn’t the only British invasion, The Wanted with their hit single “Glad You Came“, that I can guarantee you not that many people even know they’re a boy band when they dance to it at the club, are leaving their mark in the US with their Ibiza-like party anthem. And then we have Mindless Behavior, who perform R&B and hip-hop and have been opening acts for Janet Jackson, Jason Derulo and Justin Bieber. Then again, we have bands like the Jonas Brothers still around, and pretty much the only relevant boy band from 2005 up until 2010 or so, if you count with each member doing other projects at the moment and now in an unofficial hiatus. Also, we have Big Time Rush, who have been around for a while and recently won the Kids Choice Award for Best Band. And I’m pretty sure there are even more unknown boy bands as well as more of them coming out between this and upcoming years, as long as this pop boy band phase lasts.

Now, to answer the “why now?” question, it’s a decade thing. In recent years, for late 80s and early 90s, it was New Kids on The Block and Boyz II Men (who are still around). Then for late 90s and early 00s it was *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. Now, for the 2010’s decade, its time for an imminent boy band to take over. Not only might this be the time for boy bands, it’s the age of social media, and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen pictures, gifs and videos of One Direction or The Wanted on Tumblr, and I can admit that this is how I found out about them, way before the songs were even on the radio here. And guess what? I didn’t pay attention back then, because as some of you know boy bands are a thing in the UK, who knew they would be succesful overseas? Well, I was proved wrong, and now currently listening to their music, as well as everybody else.

In conclusion, short-lived or not, this new breed of boy bands is talented, and I would gladly love to see what they’ve got and if they will remain relevant in the next couple of years. I can’t even hate on them, because legions of teenage girls will come after me, and if you can’t deal with your enemy, might as well join them right? This is a new decade, and a new sound for pop and for the time being I wish these bands the best, in the hopes that I get something like “No Strings Attached” or “Millenium“, or better yet, get one of their lead singers to produce something like “Justified“.



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