When you think about it, "Celebrity" is a bit of a paradox. I mean, here are these five incredibly-popular guys, each of them rich, handsome and adored by millions of teenage girls, and they're singing about how much it sucks to be a celebrity on an album which, given record sales, is only likely to make them richer, more popular and more attractive to the female sex. This is either a marketing ploy of dastardly genius, or irony so deep no one's quite got their arms around it.
Either way, "Celebrity" rocks. It's starts off with one of the year's best cuts, the wittily-infectious "Pop", and mixes fast dance beats with slow ballads in a recipe that's met with tremendous success in the past. While the album's title track, "Celebrity", is a bit off-colour, and the lyrics in some of the mushier ballads - "Gone", "Something Like You" - may induce nausea, they are compensated for by the edgy "That Girl Will Never Be Mine", the peppy (and electronic) music of "Tell Me; Tell Me...Baby" and (my personal favourite), the very, very funky rhythms of "Just Don't Tell Me That", easily one of the best songs to ever emanate from this group.
"Celebrity" marks a departure from N-Sync's brand of saccharine pop to a more adult music. It has a few flaws, but overall, I'm glad they tried the experiment. Now, if only I could figure out why they called it that...This article was first published on 28 Sep 2001.