Battle of the Boy Bands Contest


My good mate Ken Armstrong from Ken's Writing Stuff has just posted about his appreciation for the Boy Band Westlife's song My Love. There were a lot of comments that expressed a kindred appreciation for the song, even if most thought that expressing a liking for a boy band was kind of lame or that most boy bands sound the same.

Well I agree, although once in a while, a boy band might record a song that isn't so bad. Really.

So today, I have selected five songs from five different boy bands. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is comment on which song is your favorite and why. The commenter with the most original and/or creative response will be deemed the winner and win a special prize appropriate for this contest.

So with no further ado, here are the five selections. Which is your favorite, and why?

Back Street Boys: I Want It That Way

N'Sync and Celine Dion: That's The Way It Is

Il Divo: Somewhere

Westlife: I Have A Dream

98 Degrees: Una Noche

Thanks for reading.

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B said...

I will always be an Nsync fan so you know what my choice is. They hold records with tours, albums could you not pick them in a Battle of Boy Bands. They always put on an amazing performance. It doesn't matter if it's on tour, a TV special or an awards show.

November 24, 2008 11:22 AM
Ken Armstrong said...

Ha! This is going to take some assessing. 'Can't rush into these things :)

Thanks for mench, 'appreciated.

November 24, 2008 12:55 PM
Jena Isle said...

Are those boys, the 98 degrees boy band? I quite doubt it.

Anyway here is my choice - Westlife . Why? for the following significant reasons:

1. The lyrics of the song is for everyone. It is a "global" music; talking about "angels," "seeing the good in all I see." "I have a dream."

2. They sing like angels; soft, mellow and fluid, not a tune out of sync.

3. I am an ABBA fan too, so the revival of this song is a hit to me. I used to sing that song when I was younger and now because of Westlife , I'm still singing it with the radio.

4. Last but not the least, they're Irish, and we have one very kind Irish friend here-Ken, who thinks they are the best ( and I agree with him). (smiles) Even for this reason alone- I would vote for Westlife!

November 24, 2008 1:00 PM
Margaret said...

Ok -- I listened to each clip individually and carefully (I admit to having to play Westlife's 4 times but that was solely because I kept getting interrupted before they got to the harmonizing parts.)

Anyway, for me, based solely on the examples provided it has to be Westlife followed by Back Street Boys,Il Divo with N'Sync last because the song you chose was totally overshadowed by Celine's performance -- they were little more than her back up and so this truly wasn't a fair comparison of "boy bands"

I love harmonizing voices. Doesn't matter if they are male or female and it's just a shame that not many girl bands these days choose to do harmonic songs, because they really seem to resonate with audiences who feel like they can sing along without embarrassment. Makes it a fantastic experience to be a part of.

I think someone called today "Musical Monday" and indeed it must be since more than a few of the blogs I've visited today have had a post up about music -- mine included :)

So, Matthew, thanks for the great choices. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of them.


November 24, 2008 8:42 PM
Jena Isle said...

Oh and I forgot to add; they could sing a capella and wow, you can still hear sweet music.

November 24, 2008 9:11 PM
phatelara said...

I'd go for N Sync! I grew up listening to them, along with the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Westlife came out a bit later. I don't like Il Divo. :)

Thanks so much for sharing! I miss my school days.

November 24, 2008 9:28 PM
Lidian said...

This is no doubt highly irregular, so feel free to disregard! Might I vote for the parody version of "I Want It That Way" - the "E Bay" song by Weird Al Yankovic -?

Every time someone mentions that song, or boy bands, I think of the E Bay song. It is really quite funny.

And not quite what you are asking us to do, I realize!

November 24, 2008 10:51 PM
Lidian said...

This is no doubt highly irregular, so feel free to disregard! Might I vote for the parody version of "I Want It That Way" - the "E Bay" song by Weird Al Yankovic -?

Every time someone mentions that song, or boy bands, I think of the E Bay song. It is really quite funny.

And not quite what you are asking us to do, I realize!

November 24, 2008 10:51 PM
Lidian said...

Have compounded irregular comment by inadvertantly posting twice. Mea culpa, i.e. sorry 'bout that!

November 24, 2008 10:52 PM
Canucklehead said...

BSB all the way! They are SO dreamy!

November 25, 2008 9:27 AM
Hype said...

I never heard that version of That's The Way It Is, but I agree with Margaret - they were totally overshadowed by Celine.

November 25, 2008 9:47 AM
hope said...

The 98Degrees song is the most upbeat...although Nick is not looking like himself. ;)

I think NSnyc has great harmonies but I agree Celine over powered them.

Liked that version of BSB...again, I love harmony.

Westlife would be my number two pick and sorry, I don't get the appeal of Il Divo. My favorite version of that song was by Jose Carreras. Yes, the opera tenor. But at the time they were doing a documentary on Leonard Bernstein and he kept harping on Jose to rid himself of his Spanish accent. By the time they got to that song, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, for all the right reasons.

Fun post Matt!

November 25, 2008 3:13 PM
Ken Armstrong said...

I think the back street boys wins this one for me. El Divo have big voices but they weird me out and just do faux-pop-opera.

November 25, 2008 4:00 PM
Josie said...

I haven't listened to a boy band since I was 11 and new kids on the block were first big. Even then I was a Donny girl- always went with the odd one. Much of the rest of my musical tastes in popular music fall in the goth/metal/alternative genre and I'm a classically trained musician, so you can see how well equipped I am to answer this question. That said, I think Westlife has the most pure voices of the group. Solid, pretty, and not whiny like some others get.

November 25, 2008 5:46 PM
Carol said...

Why are they called "boy bands" when none of the members play instruments? Why aren't they "boy groups" or "guy groups" or something? Bands play instruments, forcryinginasoundhole!

I really do take exception to our culture's poor choice of nomenclature. *sniff*

That being said, I'm going with Il Divo because they are more than just cute, they're mega-talented. Even though they don't play instruments. (Those VOICES!!!) And they're men! I'm all about men!

Will the prize scare me?

November 25, 2008 11:51 PM
tashabud said...

For me, I have three first places:

BSB-They're upbeat and enthusiastic. They have romantic voices that harmonizes very well. Their song's lyrics and music are right in my alley. They also have grea stage appeal.

West Life-They exude innocence. They have very smooth, angelic, romantic voices in awesome harmony. They also have a great stage appeal. They did a wonderful job at singing an ABBA song,

ll Divo- They have very Sophisticated, mature, romantic, operatic voices that makes my spirit soar from my flesh all the way up to the heavens. The accoustics of the concert hall and the accompaniment by the orchestra, produced an amazing sound that is full, complete, and whole.

98 Degree Special is second-The Audio quality can use some improvement. The lead singer has a great voice. The band's harmony just needs some fine-tuning.

In reality, BSB and NSync are my favorites in this "boy band" category, but I have to vote NSync down, solely because of the choice of song you included in your post. They're only singing back up to Celine Dion. So it's unfair to them. Aside from judging them from you post, I'll give NSync the same high marks I gave my top 3 first places.


November 26, 2008 4:02 PM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

B--I find in interesting that NSYNC has now had two former members on Dancing with the Stars....and they both made it to the final.


Jena--I wondered that too, but the music sounded right. Maybe some local guys got together and tried to imitate their music video? Anyway, it's about the music, right?

Nice choice of Westlife!

Margaret--AND EVERYONE--You know the thing about the Celine Dion Song? When it was actually live on television, it wasn't all Celine. Yes, she was the lead vocalist, but the N'Sync guys put their stamp on the song. I guess it didn't translate as well to YouTube, although I've got BOSE speakers hooked up to my computer and I thought the example demonstrated not only their awesome harmonies, but their starpower--performing with Celine Dion.

Ah well, it must have been lost in translation. Thanks for participating and your well-thought out answers, and your vote for Westlife!

Phatelara--thanks for your vote...

Lidian--thanks for the comment storm! Just kidding...You can vote for Al Yankovic, but he's not a boy band, so I guess your choice would be disqualified....Thanks for playing anyway! :)

Canucklehead--I had a figure you would go for the BSB for just that reason!

Hype--please see above, and you know what, you all might be on to something and I see another post coming soon.... Stay tuned....

Hope, thanks for the comments and your vote....I had never heard of Il Divo until this week....look for another post soon where I will attempt to explain the appeal. I'm having an earworm crush on them.

Ken--thanks for your vote for the BSB...why do Il Divo "weird" you out?

Josie--I agree with you on Westlife, thanks for commenting....

Carol, the prize just might scare you. I figured you'd go for Il Divo as you are the musician....As for naming them "boy bands," hey, nobody checked with me first, but you're right...our society is all about labels and often poorly chosen labels at that!

Tasha--what a great diplomatic answer and a case for each group! Does that mean I get to pick from your choice of answers to break a tie?

November 29, 2008 10:02 AM
koalawoman65 said...

Technically speaking, Il Divo is not a "BOY" Band being that each of the four gourgeous and talented MEN are just that, men who are all between the age of 36 and 40.
But that being said I am thrilled to see them here if nothing else than for the exposure.

If you had told me that I would like this type of music (It is called popera) three years ago, I would have said you are nuts. (So glad that you've found and are enjoying them Matthew.)

Their stage presence is out of this world. Each of the guys has been in the music business, three of them in the opera world and one in the pop world, for over a decade before joining Il Divo and it shows. If you look through the videos on you tube of their earlier performances, their voices have all grown so much and they have perfected their sound.

It never ceases to bring me to a calm and peaceful place especially when I need it most. My 16 month old Grandson even loves it and his physical therapists have me bring the music to his therapy sessions because it calms him while they are working on his muscles and mobility.

I will say that the song Somewhere is not my favorite choice of theirs, not because of their singing, just because it isn't my favorite song but, among others They have done marvelous versions of the Moody Blues tune Nights in White Satin or in their version Notte De Luce.

Check out a few more songs of theirs before discounting them altogether.

So I guess you can tell that my choice is Il Divo.

December 01, 2008 11:11 AM

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