One of my most intense fangirl relationships throughout my teenage years had been with the band *NSYNC. During our courtship I had wallpapered my bedroom from floor to ceiling with posters and pictures, my shelves overflowed with assorted merchandise and paraphernalia. I had stuffed animals, buttons, books, dolls, magnets, t-shirts, Christmas ornaments, pillows, and blankets. I had anything and everything with those five adorable faces on it. I even had an *NSYNC illuminated phone. Now that is dedication. I went to their concerts. I watched their TV specials. I bought their DVDs. I recorded every Making the Video. *NSYNC was my whole world. Too much was never, ever enough.
It may surprise you to know – it certainly knocked me off my feet – that *NSYNC’s, No Strings Attached, turns twenty years old this week. Yikes! Does that make me feel old. To this day, I can still recall with perfect clarity the morning the album came out. I had asked my mom to drive me to Target before school started so I could get the highly anticipated compact disc before anyone else. I was so excited to listen to those twelve new tracks, I couldn’t concentrate all day. I just wanted to go home and listen to *NSYNC, which was a common complication in those days.
When the moment finally arrived, I unwrapped the plastic, put the disc in, and pressed play. Immediately, my jaw hit the floor. It’s modern, mature style was shocking to my young ears. I listened to it over and over again, day after day, night after night. No Strings Attached was absolutely revolutionary.
After all these years, I still know the choreography to Bye Bye Bye. I still have the lyrics to It’s Gonna Be Me memorized. I remember it all. Twenty years later and the album remains an important point in my music history.