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In Honor Of *NSYNC

The boys of *NSYNC – JC, Justin, Joey, Chris and Lance – will always hold a special place in my 90’s teen-girl heart. I can’t believe they are only today just getting their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That being said, in honor of this fun and well-deserved occasion, here’s a list of some of my favorite *NSYNC songs.

“I Want You Back”: Of course I have to start this list off with the band’s debut single (circa 1998) that starts with young, blond, curly-haired JT’s sexy-ass voice. Oh what that voice (and hair) did to teenage girls across the world in the late ’90s…

“Tearin’ Up My Heart”: I always loved the lyrics and chorus to this pop banger from the quintet.

“Thinking Of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)”: I was OBSESSED with this music video of the boys going crazy in a mental hospital over some (lame) chicks. While ridiculous, it was a lot of fun to watch. And nothing beats JC Chasez belting “Crazy Crazy” while donning a straight jacket. Everything about this song was CRAZY GOOD.

“Bye Bye Bye”: This is the song that everyone knew the dance moves to. And to this day, I still perform (yes, perform) some of the hand motions when this song comes on in my car. It’s the best form of muscle memory.

“It’s Gonna Be Me”: Another fantastic gem of a pop song.

“This I Promise You”: My favorite *NSYNC ballad, but probably the worst music video of all time (sorry boys.)

“Pop”: The best “FUCK YOU” to the pop haters out there that I’ve ever heard. The boys didn’t get nearly enough credit as they should have for sticking it to their critics and coming out on top.

“The Two Of Us”: I was always partial to this song. It’s probably in my top 3.

“Are You Gonna Be There”: A lesser known song for sure, as it was never released on one of their albums (which always surprised me), but still a FANTASTIC song. I love when JC goes all high and falsetto and he does it beautifully here in the bridge.

“If I’m Not the One”: Another lesser known song that wasn’t on any of their albums. BUT one of my all-time favorites nonetheless.

 

 

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Yay. I’m even older now!

Dear whoever ends up reading my blog,

Here’s some songs that always make me feel better. Maybe they’ll do the same for you.

Love, the birthday girl

*NSYNC “Bye Bye Bye”: We gotta start things off right here… so this was the only choice, obviously.

Peter Hollens/Stuart Edge “Epic Goofy Medley”: And this was the OBVIOUS second choice…. I’m a Disney girl for sure. It always amazes me that everyone forgets how ridiculously good the music from A Goofy Movie was. Probably because there were no princesses involved. Anyways, the wonderful Peter Hollens thankfully decided to mash-up “Stand Out” and “I2I”. The result? Me singing in my car at the top of my lungs. Every. Single. Time.

Savage Garden “The Animal Song”: If you can’t picture yourself dancing and jumping in the rain to this song like no one’s watching then there’s something wrong with you!!!

SoulDecision “Faded”: The sexiest song of y2k if you ask me.

Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”: I heard this song for the first time years back while watching the glorious 80’s movie Real Genius starring Val Kilmer. I mean, whoever selected this song to soundtrack the scene of a mansion being overrun by popcorn THAT WAS POPPED BY A LASER BEAM is the actual real genius if I say so myself. On second thought, whoever wrote that scene is.

Ricky Martin “Shake Your Bon-Bon”: Is a comment even necessary here?

Toploader “Dancing in the Moonlight”: Oddly enough this song always makes me want to dance under the moonlight.

Harry Belafonte “Jump in the Line”: In the words of Lesley Gore,  it’s my party and I’ll… listen to this song on repeat if I want to 🙂

Just some really good songs from the 90’s/early 00’s I forgot about

I’m of the (pretty common) opinion that there has never been (and will never again be) a better time for music than the 90’s and early 00’s. This was a time when pop songs were actually fun and full of life and not afraid to be catchy. This was a time when *NSYNC stole my teenage girl heart. This was a time that brought us female power in the form of the Spice Girls, family power in the form of Hanson, and, of course, a shitload of GOOD music.

The artists today are too serious, as is this entire world. Maybe I’m seeing it that way because I’m an adult or whatever but still, the pop music today blows in comparison to when I was younger. Also, technology kind of took the excitement out of music. It’s great to stream songs and what not but there was something special about catching your favorite song on the radio, or your favorite band on TRL. Also, social media has made it far too easy to know what musicians are eating for breakfast. There’s no mystery to any of it anymore and I miss that.

It’s sad that this generation of teens will never get to fully experience the wonder of hearing Sisqo’s “Thong Song” on the radio for the first time. Or taking sides as to whose boy it really was in Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine”. Or dancing (awkwardly) to the sweet reggae-infused sounds of Tanto Metro & Devonte’s “Everyone Falls in Love” at EVERY school dance. Oh to be young and awkward. Anyways, here’s a list of some songs from the time that are AMAZING yet I completely forgot existed.

Enjoy!

Cher “Song For The Lonely”: Oh man. This chorus. Such a brilliant jam for us singletons. 100% forgot about this one. I’m glad I re-discovered it.

Candlebox “Far Behind”: I FREAKING LOVE 90’S POP/ROCK MUSIC OMG!!!!!

Paula Cole “Me”: An absolute stunner of a song that I didn’t listen to nearly as many times as I should’ve when it was actually released. I owned This Fire, the album this song came from, but focused more on the singles at the time (“I Don’t Want to Wait”, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”)

Los Umbrellos “No Tengo Dinero”: Holy throwback. This recent re-discovery made me very happy. Also, I remembered every single word (even though I have no idea what I’m saying or if I’m even saying it right.)

Sugar Ray “Falls Apart”: Of course I remembered “Fly” and even “Every Morning”, but I totally let this jam slide from my memory. Just a fun band that released fun songs.

Snoop Dogg/Justin Timberlake/Charlie Wilson “Signs”: Ya gotta love the Dogg. This was a total jam that should definitely be brought back into dance clubs today. If people still go to those. I don’t know – I’m thirty.

Son By Four “A Puro Dolor”: Wow. So, this time period was when a lot of Latin artists were entering the pop scene. Hello, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony. Anyways, there was a big focus on artists releasing songs in both Spanish and English and this particular one hit wonder was a HUUUUGGGGEEE hit at the time. I like the Spanish version better.

JC Chasez’s Schizophrenic: I admit it – I wasn’t a huge fan of this album at the time because I was heartbroken over the break-up of *NSYNC. Also, JC was my favorite of the group and I always loved his crystal clear voice that was MILES better than every other member (sorry not sorry). That said, I was used to JC belting it out on beautiful ballads, so when I heard “Some Girls Dance With Women” and “Blowin Me Up (With Her Love)”, the singles from this album, I was NOT happy. I thought he was trying to be someone he wasn’t. It was all too sexual for me at the time (he says “horny” in one of the songs and I was a late bloomer…), although I still liked a handful of the songs. Anyways, I listened to the majority of this album the other night and, yeah, me being upset over *NSYNC’s break-up was definitely the issue, not the music, because this album was underrated and actually pretty damn good.

Avril Lavigne as a pop artist in general. Yea, so I obviously didn’t forget about Avril but what I did forget was how good her songs were. Her entire Let Go album was exceptional and I had it on replay for a very long time. One song I did forget about though was “Don’t Tell Me” and it’s the one I chose to highlight here.

My Year In Music 2017: According to Spotify

I’ve been a big Spotify fan since I personally dethroned Apple/iTunes years ago as the place to listen to and discover new music. I’m also a big fan of year-end lists, especially when they are related to music. So, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but an email with a link to a playlist of my top songs of 2017 (courtesy of Spotify)…  it was like Christmas came early this year.

Aside from compiling my Top 100 songs of 2017 playlist, the musical elves at Spotify also sent me some interesting facts about my year in music. My favorite fact? It’s 2017, which is 2 weeks away from being 20 years since *NSYNC appeared on the pop music scene and THEY WERE STILL MY TOP ARTIST OF THE YEAR. Twenty. Years. Later. That made me smile.

Some more of my personal, music trends:

According to Spotify, I listened to over 13,000 minutes of music: over 2,000 different songs from 940 different artist across 55 genres.

Aside from *NSYNC, my other top artists were Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen and The Goo Goo Dolls.

My most played song of the year was Hailee Steinfeld’s “Most Girls.” My other top songs included: “Flame” by Tinashe, “Dark Side” by Phoebe Ryan, “Call On Me” by Starley, and “Barcelona” by Ed Sheeran.

My top genre was pop (not at all surprising.) Other top genres included dance pop, post-teen pop (not quite sure what that is), neo mellow (not a clue), and pop rock.

If you like some of the music on my blog, here’s a link to my top 100 played songs from 2017:

Happy Holidays!!!

–Ashes

I Regress

Oh the 90’s. The pre-9/11 era of innocence. When I had all the friends in the world and no cares aside from homework and choosing which *NSYNC member I wanted to marry (FYI I believe that honor ultimately went to JC)… There was and will always be something special about the music from this decade. Running home from school to watch TRL with my friends, recording our favorite music videos on VHS tapes and rewinding and then replaying them 10 times in a row to practice the dance moves, calling in to Z100’s 9 at 9 when it was still cool, making cassette tape mixes, going to The Wiz to buy new singles (literally, one song on a cassette or CD). Ah it was amazing and I’m super happy my childhood and pre-teen years occurred before social media took over. Everything is too easy to consume now. We had to work for it. Go 80’s babies!

Anyways, from the height of the boy band era, to the ultimate pop princesses, to sweet r&b and hip-hop, here’s a list of some of my favorite classic 90’s jams (ok most are from 1999 because apparently that was the best year for music but still):

Backstreet Boys “The One” and “I Want It That Way” – Millennium is arguably (but not really because it is) their best album. “The One” is an intergalactic upbeat love song, and no one on planet earth can decipher what’s going on lyrically in “I Want It That Way”(and believe me they’ve tried), which makes it even more special.

Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love To You” – I saw these lovely men live in concert 2 years ago for the first time and damn, they’ve still got it. If you want to please any crowd, just throw on this song.

Brandy “Almost Doesn’t Count” – Brandy’s 1998 Never Say Never album was on constant replay in my CD player. This song always sounded good but the lyrics and message started to mean more over the years.

Britney Spears “…Baby One More Time” – My best friend and I choreographed our own dance to this song and performed it dressed up as Ginger and Baby Spice for our family. Because that’s how we entertained ourselves back then. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” – 90’s kids, we’ll never let go.

Christina Aguilera “Genie In A Bottle” – This is when pop started getting a bit more “edgy”, a bit more “sexy”. Her debut album was always one of my favorites.

Chumbawamba “Tubthumping” – Who doesn’t want to piss the night away to this jam?

Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” – Ugh, I love the all-female, girl-power groups of the 90’s. These ladies were the perfect amount of fierce.

Hanson “MMMBop” – No explanation needed.

Jessica Simpson “I Think I’m In Love With You” – I had like 20 crushes in the 90’s and I dedicated this song to all of them.

Jordan Knight “Give It To You” – One of the many songs way too sexual for us at the time but we had no idea what the hell was going on so no harm done.

K-CI & JoJo “All My Life” – Pure r&b perfection. I mean, people were obsessed with this song. Myself included.

LFO “Summer Girls” – This super popular song was like nothing we’d ever heard before and we consumed it like scavengers.

Mariah Carey “Always Be My Baby” – This sweet song is a staple in any 90’s music collection. And if it’s not in yours you should be ashamed of yourself! (Just kidding but seriously)

Monica “Angel Of Mine” – They just don’t make jams like this anymore.

Every *NSYNC song that came out in the 90’s – Praise. Here’s “I Want You Back” since it was the first single.

Real McCoy “Another Night” – The quintessential 90’s dance track.

Robyn “Show Me Love” – Today’s pop stars should just bow down because you can’t compete with this masterpiece of a song.

Sisqo “Thong Song” – Enough mushy love songs. I want to go back to a time when the hottest song on the radio was about thongs dammit!

Spice Girls “Wannabe” – My favorite girl group of all time. What 90’s girl didn’t sing along to this song with her friends and feel like the coolest person in the world? None of them.

Christmas Song Bliss

So yes, I admit they do start the Christmas music a bit too early these days – before the turkey is even on the Thanksgiving table. However, I’d definitely call myself a fan of holiday tunes (in moderation). And not those droopy, slow, boring ones from years of yonder but more modernized songs with the same Christmas spirit. Here’s a modified list of my favorite songs of the season, all of which can be found on good ‘ole Spotify!

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The entire *NSYNC Home For Christmas album. Always? Always. (Yes, that’s a Harry Potter reference.)

Half of the 98 Degrees’ This Christmas album. Their version of “Oh Holy Night” is still my favorite.

Amy Grant “Tennessee Christmas”. No, I’m not from nor have ever been to the state, but she makes it seem awfully inviting.

Britney Spears’ “My Only Wish (This Year)”. Kind of a sad song if you really think about it. Ah, #singlelife.

Dave Barnes “Family Tree”. This song should be a Christmas staple in all houses.

Harry Connick Jr. “(It Must’ve Been Ol’) Santa Claus. This one is actually a staple for my family when we go on our annual Cape May vacation.

James Taylor “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Gotta love Jamesy.

Jimmy Buffett “Ho Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum”. He’s the best.

Kelly Clarkson “My Grown Up Christmas List”. Lyrically, one of my favorite holiday songs.

Michael Buble “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. The most polite Christmas tune.

New Kids On The Block “Last Night I Saw Santa Claus”. I mean, does this even need an explanation?

*NSYNC “You Don’t Have To Be Alone (On Christmas)”. Yes they are on the list again. What are you going to do about it? 🙂

Rob Thomas “A New York Christmas”. As a native NY’er, I’ve always loved this little ditty.

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