|But so much is already inexplicable.|
Boy Band: O-Town
Members: (clock-wise from top) Erik-Michael Estrada, Jacob Underwood, Dan Miller, Ashley Parker Angel, Trevor Penick
Reign of Terror: 2000-2003
I hardly know where to start with O-Town. They were one of the first pop culture personalities brewed in MTV's reality show lab, which has gone on to produce monsters like Heidi Montag and those horrible Jersey Shore creatures. Despite lacking anything resembling talent or personalities, in 2001 they garnered two Top Ten Billboard hits - a hopelessly generic ballad called "All or Nothing," and a remarkable piece of work called "Liquid Dreams."
Oh my god, "Liquid Dreams." By itself, the song defies belief; combined with the music video, it is an aural apocalypse.
Just...holy shit. Where do I begin? I mean, the music was clearly performed on two Casio keyboards. The video's budget was $4.27 tops. TOPS. Their dancing is also problematic; one second they're doing an explicit interpretation of male ejaculation, the next they're dropping it like it's hot. And I can't pretend I didn't see the liquid penis at 0:06, or that the existence of said penis was an accident.
|I'm not making this up. Liquid. Penis.|
Though honestly, I have to give O-Town props for being so explicit. Most other boy bands went for a harmless and neutered approach, making their desires seem sweet, romantic, and completely non-threatening. O-Town was having none of that. They wanted to have sex with hot ladies, and if they couldn't have that, they'd just masturbate to posters of hot ladies and sing about it. Try as I might, I can't even be mad at their honesty.
I can still be mad about their total lack of singing talent, however. Feast your ears on this live performance at Miss America 2000:
The redhead's singing voice is the aural equivalent of getting your ear drums scrubbed with Brillo pads, but he's hardly the only guilty party here. As I understand it, their ear pieces were broken, which is apparently supposed to explain and excuse this musical monstrosity. Still, that doesn't account for every single one of them hitting the wrong notes whenever possible. I'll give them points for their very enthusiastic choreography, especially the redhead - shawty got a duuuunk! But this performance is a declaration of war on good music. Unforgivable.
By 2002, O-Town's profound lack of anything good caught up with them. They released a sweet little ditty called "We Fit Together," a song whose bubbly melody nearly disguised lines like "how many triple-X dreams I've had starring you" but only brought them to #104 on the Billboard charts. The group disbanded in 2003*. Their success, short-lived thought it was, is adequate proof of two things:
1) Teenage girls didn't need to be sweetly romanced in order to buy records.
2) They also didn't need working ears.
- Sex appeal/charisma: 1 - That Ashley Angel character is as pretty as his name
- Cheesiness: Solid 10
- Dance moves: 5, for sheer enjoyment value
- Music: 0.5
- Post-band success: Ashley Angel is the only one of the five members with a Wikipedia page, which is pretty damning stuff as far as the other four are concerned. He's put together a solid enough Broadway career, starring in the musical Hairspray; but he also named his son Lyric.
*O-Town did regroup earlier this year, sans their most famous and successful member, Ashley Angel. So far no music has been released, but be on your guard...