02 June 2010


The Inevitable Boy Band Post

Does it get any cheesier than boy bands???

Now that I really think about it--and yes, I really am thinking--it's quite a wonder that Shredded Cheddar has not yet acknowledged the cheesy excellence that is the boy band. Yes, their assembly line Pop can be excruciating and the furthest thing from real art besides noise . . . but the music is just part of the whole wonderful package of the boy band genre. (And we love genre here, remember?)

As a genre, they're pretty embarrassing. Find five boys who can sing, dance and charm the (very young) ladies. If they only seem as if they can sing and dance, they'll still do. Write them love songs and make them learn a lot of choreography. Make their concerts about spectacle and let their music videos run the spectrum of metrosexual style. In a few years, should one of them leave to start a successful solo career, while the rest absolutely tank and slowly slip into obscurity . . . then you'll know you had the right formula when you started out.

Speaking of formulae . . . those aforementioned boy band concerts are also a genre of their own. My favourite convention, which is, unfortunately, only optional, is the boy band's medley of other people's music. The entertainment value of such sets is astronomical, even if (going by singles and releases and such) the industry has judged their commercial value to be nil. Whatever, right? We're all about entertainment here, too.

My Top 5 Boy Band Concert Medleys

1. Take That's Beatles Medley

It was very cheeky of them to homage the Fab Four, but then again, they did inspire a mania all their own all over much of Europe. Of all their medleys, it was this classic crowd pleaser which the remaining four members brought back for a reunion tour that became, though they didn't know it until later, the beginning of their comeback.

2. Nsync's Bee Gees Medley

For concert filler, this was very impressive--inasmuch as they made it all about the a capella singing. A few years later, they looked much classier as they performed it at the Grammys in tribute to the recently departed Maurice Gibb.

3. The Osmonds' Motown Medley

Okay, so they're not a real boy band . . . I'm borrowing them from that other, crossover-into-rock genre of bands made up entirely of brothers, and I find that they fit! I mean, the matching costumes, the choreography, the hair: I'm not going to argue with that battalion of screaming teenage girls in the audience.

4. Westlife's Boy Band Medley

This must be the most derivative thing Westlife has ever done--and that's saying a lot! Even at the end, when they finally start performing one of their "own" songs, it turns out to be their cover of Billy Joel's Uptown Girl. I'm not sure whether to mock them for homaging other boy bands after the other boy bands have homaged other, bigger acts . . . or to love them for revealing such a perfect understanding of their own genre.

5. UC Men's Octet's Nirvana Medley

Again, they're not really a boy band--but I doubt that anyone who watched that video for the first time because I included them in this Top 5 will be complaining! What a genius arrangement! Grunge will never be the same again! Hey, nonny, nonny, indeed! There are simply not enough exclamation points in the world for this!!!!! (I'm still laughing!)


Belfry Bat said...

Talk about cognitive dissonance! and close-harmony, too... !

Sullivan McPig said...

Hmmm... Ok...
I'll try not to say too much about this list. *shudders*

Paul Stilwell said...

The last video makes the other four worth slogging through.

Even though I didn't slog through them.

ninjapeps said...

nothing from the Backstreet Boys?

Enbrethiliel said...


Bat: Why did I just know that the last video would be the favourite? ;)

Sully: Nonetheless, your *scientific* comment is welcome! =P

Paul: Just imagine how many boy band medleys I had to listen to before I narrowed it down to these five!

Peppy: I just knew you'd ask that! I found a video of them doing a medley at the Grammys, but it wasn't really in the spirit I was looking for. Would you know if they did tribute medleys in any of their concerts?

Fun and Fearless said...

How about Boyzone? I think I saw a video of them performing a medley of Jackson 5's songs before.

Enbrethiliel said...


It will be a cold day in you-know-where before I feature those five on my blog!

r said...

Well, there's my horizons slightly broadened!

r said...

AND there I go commenting before I see the last one. Wow.

Enbrethiliel said...


That last one really is in a league of its own, isn't it? =D

In fact, if you hadn't said anything else, I would have assumed that was what your first comment was referring to! =P

paul bowman said...

If genre-loving finally comes to genre-busting, your credibility as a genre devotee is secure.

Is homage a verb now? Where have I been?

Enbrethiliel said...


There is an alien universe in which "friend" is a verb. I have a hunch that you hang out there often. I can't abide the place myself.

paul bowman said...

Okay, touché I guess. : )

I don't like it either, really, but lately have been increasing time spent there. Has to do in part with promoting a trade assoc. I'm a member of. I'm in charge of the organization's 'page' now, for good or ill.

mrsdarwin said...

Smells like the '90s! I almost feel 16 again, except that I'm way too pregnant to feel young. :)

What was the boy band with Joey McIntyre and Lance that was so big in the 80s? I can't believe I don't remember the name now (though I never was a fan so maybe that's why) but my 4th grade friends swooned over those guys. Was that the New Kids on the Block? Man, I feel old...

Enbrethiliel said...


Yes, Mrs. Darwin, it was the New Kids on the Block. =)

I felt old last night when one of the teenage characters on Glee said that her parents named her Rachel because they were huge Friends fans when she was born, and I caught myself saying, "But wasn't Friends just on a few years ago . . . ?"

I hope your baby is doing well. You are in my prayers.

mrsdarwin said...

Thanks for your prayers! They mean a lot.

I can't tell you how much time I wasted last night on YouTube watching the UC Men's Octet sing all this awesome stuff. Their version of Big Butts had tears rolling down my cheeks.:)

Enbrethiliel said...


Then my life has been worthwhile, after all! =)

And whoever generously decided to upload those videos has my eternal gratitude.

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

It is easy to fall into the void of Youtube isn't it--- I must post the UC Men on my facebook! funny!

Speaking of Osmond's I met little Jimmy Osmond a few years ago-- well he wasn't little anymore-- but very nice guy. Too bad it could't have been a teen Donny and too bad I couldn't have been 11-- then I would have freaked out and been suitably impressed.


Enbrethiliel said...


From what I can tell, the entire Osmond family is very nice. =)

I first discovered the Osmonds when it was way too late for me to do anything about anything! =P But I thought they seemed fun.

A few years ago, I saw the movie based on their lives. At the end, the entire family (not the actors playing them) comes out and sings together. I remember being surprised at how much younger Donny looked than even Jimmy!