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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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Jack Antonoff, MO “Never Fall In Love”

There’s a good chance a song is going to be amazing any time Jack Antonoff or Denmark’s MO are attached to it. And a song from both of them is just a no-brainer.

Listen 2

Here’s some new tunes I came across this past week that I recommend checking out.

A very different sound from the lads of Kodaline. It’s more pop-leaning, instead of their usual rock sound. I’m partial to the rock, but I still like this.

Olly Alexander has one of the sexiest voices out there today.

Some Latin flair from the vocal genius.

I wish I was strong enough to say these words to a few people in my life.

Slowing things down a bit with this lovely, reflective track by England’s Lucy Rose.

A fun, upbeat, rock jam from the English singer-songwriter.

 

Listen

I heard a LOT of good music across multiple genres lately so figured I’d create this list instead of individual posts. Also, sometimes (often) it’s hard to come up with ways to describe music, and I’m kind of lazy right now. But most of the time, music doesn’t need any explanation – it just needs you to listen. And you should definitely listen to these songs.

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.

MO “When I Was Young”

Who doesn’t love a jam with a prevalent saxophone riff? No one.

Dua Lipa “IDGAF”

And…. this is how to slay with your words. Or an acronym. Either way, Dua Lipa is a lady dragon and this song is her FIRE.

Charli XCX f/ Carly Rae Jepsen “Backseat”

My 2 favorite pop artists join forces to sing about my life, basically. It’s one hell of a sad yet dope song.

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

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