The Daily Texan’s review of Christmas boy band albums

Stephanie Jumper, General Life & Arts Reporter

As carols begin to ring from almost every speaker in the city, Christmas music takes responsibility in reigning in holiday cheer. Occasionally, even the likes of 1990s boy bands record their voice to the tune of jingle bells.

The Daily Texan reviewed Christmas albums from NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys and Hanson to determine if pop’s greatest boy bands belong in Winter Wonderland.


Hanson – Finally It’s Christmas

Hanson characterizes itself as not only a boy band, but a brother band. This sense of sibling excitement shines through the entirety of their 2017 album Finally It’s Christmas. “Til New Year’s Night” awakens heavy-eyed listeners with lively piano and guitar solos. “Blue Christmas,” originally sung by Elvis Presley, combines somber lyrics detailing missing a lover and slow, heart-wrenching chord progressions. Not only does a rendition of the 1950s hit introduce younger fans to music of the past, but it also provides older listeners with a pleasant surprise. Finally It’s Christmas promises to delight all ages, whether for its rock influences or snowstorm of nostalgia.

4 Jingle Bell Rocks out of 5


Backstreet Boys – A Very Backstreet Christmas

Since releasing their seasonal album on Oct. 14, Backstreet’s back with a sound more stripped down than ever. The Backstreet Boys embrace their transition from teen heartthrobs to middle-aged rockers. “White Christmas” combines traditional Christmas instrumentals with added vocalizations, and “Winter Wonderland” features a prominence of snaps reminiscent of the “The Addams Family” theme song.  A Very Backstreet Christmas resonates as a Christmas album first, and a Backstreet Boys album second. Although branching out beyond their trademark 1990s pop sound comes as inevitable from a group spanning three decades, a more unique approach would have better complimented their foray into covering some of the season’s most celebratory pieces.

2.5 comebacks out of 5


NSYNC – Home For Christmas

NSYNC excels in balancing its signature preppy pop whilst spreading Christmas cheer. Home For Christmas’s opening track of the same name sets a warm ambiance through holiday hums and jingle bells before subverting expectations with electronic instrumentals. The vocalists put a  boy-band spin on the Bing Crosby classic “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” NSYNC’s lyrics admittedly carry less charm than Crosby’s, encouraging listeners to tease its mushy messages. Phrases like, “I never knew the meaning of Christmas ‘till I looked into your eyes” feel more outdated and cliche than romantic. One song titled “All I Want is You (This Christmas)” also invokes feelings of cringe due to obvious parallels with the infinitely more popular Mariah Carey song. However, listeners will have fun relishing in the occasional cheesiness of this 1998 album.

4 out of 5 Justin Timberlakes