Ah, the ‘90s. Remember when you were fighting over which boy band was better, ‘N Sync or the Backstreet Boys? Or which pop tartlet had the better singing voice, Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera? Some of their tunes still hold up pretty well today, despite having nearly two decades put between them and now. (Raise your hand if you still think 1990 was ten years ago. Yeah, so do we.)
Here are a few bubblegum pop songs that have held up well with the test of time.
‘N Sync - Bye, Bye, Bye
A lot of ‘N Sync’s music is still pretty timely, particularly their song “Bye, Bye, Bye,” the first track off of their album No Strings Attached. Its catchiness was highlighted perfectly in the 2006 episode of Scrubs, entitled “My Mirror Image,” wherein Turk sets the song as his phone’s ringtone, and everyone at the hospital rocks out every time J.D. calls him. Even if the group is still on “hiatus,” it’s been made clear that they have no plans to reunite anytime soon. Besides, semi-frontman Justin Timberlake isn’t doing too bad for himself as a solo artist.
Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way
The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” is often used as a punchline these days, but it is arguably the group’s most popular tune. It is still one of the first of theirs that you can call to mind over 10 years later, particularly because continues to show up everywhere. Several of the Boys’ ballads that once enjoyed being hits, like “Drowning” or “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely,” are probably living out their lives now on the Island of Misfit Toys, all but forgotten. But the Boys are still cranking out tunes to this day, with their most recent album, In a World Like This, featuring all five members - something that hasn’t been done since the height of their popularity in 2000 when they released Black and Blue.
Hanson - I Will Come to You
Like the Backstreet Boys, believe it or not, Hanson is actually still around, making new music and releasing such Hanson-themed products as gourmet chocolate and “MMMHops,” their own brand of beer (nope, I’m not joking). Despite releasing 11 albums over the course of their nearly 20-year career, 1997’s Middle of Nowhere was no doubt their most popular. Aside from the obvious hits of “Where’s the Love,” “Weird,” and, of course, “MMMBop,” there was “I Will Come to You,” a pretty, simple ballad which is the perfect ode from one well-meaning young lover to another.
Christina Aguilera - Genie in a Bottle
Aside from Timberlake, Aguilera (another former Mouseketeer) remains to this day one of the most famous people on this list. With such recent hits as “Moves Like Jagger” (with Adam Levine) and “Say Something” (with A Great Big World), as well as a judge on TV’s The Voice, Aguilera certainly hasn’t stopped moving. Her musical style has certainly matured over the years, coming long a way from the cutesie innuendo of “Genie In a Bottle” and powering through the X-Tina years of “Dirrty,” but “Bottle” is still enjoyable for overt piano opener and drum machine beat which, admittedly, does sound very ‘90s, but it’s still pretty catchy nonetheless.