Any music fans thinking (hoping, praying) that the whole boy-band thing was so last millennium had their bubbles cruelly burst with the release of ‘N Sync’s second album, No Strings Attached. Selling some 2.4 million units out of the gate, No Strings demolished the previous first-week sales record that had been set by arch rivals the Backstreet Boys. (BSB’s Millennium sold a shameful 1.1 million its opening week in May 1999.) The taste of merciless, all-encompassing pop-culture domination must have been even sweeter considering ‘N Sync’s recent past: The group recorded No Strings Attached in the midst of a break from RCA Records and manager Lou Pearlman, the Orlando-based Geppetto of the boy-band world. To prep the world for the album’s arrival, the group appeared on Saturday Night Live, the Oscars broadcast and the cover of this magazine (in, we humbly submit, some damn snappy silver suits). But the members of the quintet would also like to get some credit for their music. Singer JC Chasez described the album as more “in your face.” “There’s a little more edge to this album. We’re pissed off now. We’re angry white boys who didn’t get our props,” agreed singer Justin Timberlake, unnecessarily adding, “No, I’m kidding.”
This story is from the December 28th, 2000 issue of Rolling Stone.