"Bye Bye Bye" by NSYNC is meaningless, stupid, overproduced, has terrible lyrics, way too self-referential to be sung by a boy band, and actually has Joey Fatone singing some of it. But I love it.
This past season of Scrubs began with Dr. Turk trying to bring "Bye Bye Bye" back because it had slipped out of the public consciousness since being released in early 2000. His colleague, Dr. Reed, is skeptical but when it's played as his ring tone, the whole hospital gets up and starts dancing. Right after their boss, Dr. Kelso, tells them that they work at a hospital, not a "discotech," he is soon caught under the song's spell when the phone goes off again.
So, can someone actually bring it back?
"Bye Bye Bye" was written by the team of Kristian Lundin, Jake Schulze and Andreas Carlsson and was originally supposed to go to 5ive, a shitty boy band even by boy band standards. When they passed, the song went to *NSYNC and appeared on their No Strings Attached album. It would soon become the best song of any BSB or *NSYNC or Britney or Christina. Granted, that's like saying you'd rather die through lethal injection instead of drowning because it'd hurt less, but it's still a compliment.
The song is mostly sung by Justin Timberlake, the one with the talent, and JC Chasez, the one who's first solo song was about lesbians, while the rest are pretty much on background harmonies. The lyrics, although quite shallow, talk about *NSYNC's breakup with their manager, Lou Pearlman, King of the Creeps. Sample:
“Just hit me with the truth,
Now, girl you're more than welcome to.
So, give me one good reason,
Baby, come on
I live for you and me,
And now I really come to see,
That life would be much better once you're gone.”
As I typed that, I was listening to “Maybellene” by Chuck Berry, so I think I died a little. But although they’re lines someone as horrific as Phil Collins could write on a bad day, it really doesn’t matter because the song is catchy as all hell. And isn’t that an indicator of a great pop song?
Here’s what I’m calling for: A few years ago, Richard Thompson took a stab at “Oops…I Did It Again,” the title track of Britney Spears’ second album. Basically, the Britney version is terrible but when Thompson sings it with nothing more than his acoustic guitar, the song sounds fantastic. So, Mr. Thompson, I plead that give “Bye Bye Bye” a try and see the gem buried underneath the thick beats and bad lyrics.
Perfect Pop Pantheon:
"I Love LA" by Randy Newman
"Train in Vain" by The Clash
"Bye Bye Bye" *NSYNC