Boy Bands in 2013 / by E

       It was a ridiculous year for boy bands. 2012 saw some leeway in popular music that gave rise to some great indie/folk tracks, but 2013 fought back by giving us way too many singles from boy bands and even bringing back some of our favorite '90's teen heartthrobs.
       Starting off on a fantastic note: N'Sync came back! This was actually fairly magical because you know the only reason you watched this year's VMA's was to see if the N'Sync reunion was just a cruel ruse (Miley who?). They haven't released any tracks and with Timberlake wrapping up a year stuffed full of singles, radio charting hits, and performances, it's unsurprising that nothing else happened, but we can always look back at their MTV performance and appreciate it's total greatness.
       98º got back together and released a lyric video for their single "Microphone". Nothing says "I've grown up and found my way out of the '90's" like ill fitting suits, too much bravado, holding drinks in glass tumblers on a staged stage, and standing awkwardly and smiling creepily at the camera while a woman in sweatpants dances next to you (am I the only one who watches this when I'm having a crappy day? Also, I'm ninety percent sure that it's a clean version of "Whistle").
       Justin Bieber has upped his views lately by continually stating that he is retiring while his management team continually states that their money source is just joking around for funsies (JUST TELL ME WHAT'S HAPPENING). He also abandoned his pet monkey in Germany (it's fucking cold there; at least abandon him somewhere nice like Hawaii [jackass]) and now he has a new puppy which he has, no doubt, not a clue as to how much work they actually are. That poor, poor dog. While in Germany, he also wrote in the guest book at Amsterdam's Anne Frank House "truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber" (excuse me?). He also showed up late to concerts, threw up on stage, and acted like an all around doucheass. Really, this year just served to prove that Bieber sucks, not only as an artist, but also as a person.
       Hunter Hayes may be the only one (other than the Biebs) who falls into the boy band round up who had a less than stellar year in comparison to his 2012 stardom. In retrospect, using the terminology "country's Justin Bieber" was probably really poor advertising.
       The Backstreet Boys released their first video from In A World Like This for the single "Show 'Em (What You're Made Of)". They sound the same as ever but could not come to a consensus on the biggest issue presented during the video: shirts or no shirts. The band compromised by intermixing their shots and always keeping those shirts clutched in their hands.
       Midnight Red signed with Capitol Records in June and released their self-titled debut EP with the label December 10. Also this year, their music blew the fuck up. Their vocals are smooth and actually good, the lyrics slightly more thought provoking than other boy band's, and the melodies are ridiculously catchy. Check out their video for "Take Me Home" and get Midnight Red now because it's actually, oddly, addictive.
       Big Time Rush had an awesome year. Their 24/Seven album was a little too perfect for keeping you awake on road trips and, while the band is on a break now, they should be back together for a 2014 tour. Their music is catchy as hell and their video's are even more addictive than the tracks; "Confetti Falling" was magical (my new goal is to save enough money for a never-ending confetti party), "We Are" is super cheesy but "we are young and dumb" is spot on (that is not a personal assault, but more a self evaluation) , I played "Like Nobody's Around" so many times this summer that I've got it memorized (not even that ashamed by this). They received so much radio play this year, World Music Awards recognized them for Best Group and Best Live Act and the band was nominated for Best Selling Album (also from WMA) and now they're about to head out on a world tour in 2014, finally making their first album dreams come true (aw).
       One Direction broke records again this year with their album Midnight Memories. "Best Song Ever" was silly and made it easy for me to write the band off, then they continued to show that they were good guys and I couldn't ignore them while putting together this post. I actually really kind of like "Story of My Life" (a lot) and the guys all appear to be actually decent guys which makes it so difficult to not like them (if they could just be jackasses like every other boy band [guy in that age group], things would be easier on all of us). The guys had to take 2013 to show that they were cool though (Styles in particular) and now I'm going to have to throw in that I fucking support One Direction now because they had to be fucking nice and make a fucking good song. 
       Watch "Story of My Life" below because the song is actually really good and the video is adorable (though it may try to break your heart [3:19-3:26; WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME])
- E
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