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!)