Time for a confession: although I was of prime age during the boy band golden era of 1997 – 2002, I was terribly disinterested in them. It was all too manufactured! Find 4-5 young men between the ages of 15 and 27. Make sure they can all sing. Choreograph dances that make heavy use of folding chairs. Try to ensure that key “types” are present: the cute one, the older one, the funny one, the weird-looking one with stupid hair, the sporty one, the ginger one, the posh one. Some of those might just have been Spice Girls or Disney dwarfs. All that’s left is finding songs for them to sing…. but that’s where things really fell apart. In a rush to move up the TRL charts as quickly as possible, some songs got released with lyrics that were sort of awful. Terrifying. Disturbing as heck. Now that we’re all adults here, I think it’s time to admit that these were very, very bad.
We Got It Goin On by the Backstreet Boys
“Well I’m creepin’ up on your left
Straight up funky when I get with you
Keep it ruthless when I get wet”
Did anyone else know about this? Because I sure didn’t until right now. I think they hid this creepery in the middle of the song and figured nobody would notice. You know what actually sounds like the worst thing in the world ever? A wet gentleman creeping up on my left and then being ruthless at me.
As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys
“Every little thing that you have said and done
Feels like it’s deep within me
Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run
It seems like we’re meant to be
I don’t care who you are (who you are)
Where you’re from (where you’re from)
What you did
As long as you love me”
This song takes codependence to new and terrifying lows. It sounds a lot like BSB is definitely singing about someone with a criminal record here. “Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run?” “Don’t care what you’ve done?” Maybe I’m just hard-hearted, but I care A LOT whether or not you’ve committed murder, stolen from a church, or have to put one of those signs on your door telling trick-or-treaters that you’re a registered sex offender. As if that weren’t enough, BSB doesn’t care “as long as you love me.” That’s what low self-esteem will do to you, kids. You’ll go out with someone who isn’t allowed within a half mile of an elementary school, as long as they say they love you.
God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You by NSync
“The heart of a child
That’s deep inside
Leaves me purified”
Dude, no. You have to date GROWNUPS, though.
Most of NSync’s 1997 Self-Titled Debut
Individually, none of the songs are too bad. But taken as a whole:
- Drive Myself Crazy
- Crazy For You (“wherever I go/ Whatever I do/ I’m crazy for you”)
- I Just Wanna Be With You, which includes the words “you’re driving me crazy,” “my love is insane/ pleasure and pain,” and then an unsettling repeat of “I just wanna be with you” and “you and me gotta stay together”
- I Want You Back (“I’m going crazy without you”)
We’re looking at a whole lot of crazy. Right? These are… not healthy relationships. If there are a lot of 20-something ladies who think that the ultimate in romance is somebody declaring that they love you so much that they are mentally unstable, I blame this album.
Can I Touch You There by 98 Degrees
Literally this whole song. I feel like if I type out the lyrics my very hands will catch an STD, but just trust me. Still, props for getting permission instead of just creeping on my left, I guess (looking at you, Backstreet Boys).