Surprise, there's a new 'N Sync album out today. It's such a surprise, in fact, it was even news to… the group?!
On Monday night, Lance Bass took to the '90s boy band's official Twitter account to announce that, unbeknownst to the fellas — also including Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, JC Chasez, and, of course, Justin Timberlake — the record, The Essential, is dropping Tuesday:
That was followed by a second tweet from Bass's own account, which said:
We take it the "#TheyCare" hash tag is a little sarcastic. The other members of the group, which went on a "temporary" hiatus back in 2002 when Timberlake went solo and never reunited, have yet to comment about the release of the album.
Bass also discussed the album on his Dirty Pop With Lance Bass SiriusXM radio show, saying someone from Sony Legacy apologized to him via Facebook. "Hey, please accept my apology, I would like to do it right, maybe give some giveaways on your website and radio program," Bass says, reading the message from the label executive.
So here's what we know about The Essential. It's a two-disc CD that includes many of their famed hits like "Bye, Bye, Bye," "I Want You Back," "Tearin' Up My Heart," and "This I Promise You," but it also has previously unreleased songs. Here's the complete track list:
Disc 1 of 2:
1. Here We Go [Radio Cut] (3:34)
2. I Want You Back [Radio Edit] (3:20)
3. Tearin' up My Heart [Original Radio Edit] (3:26)
4. God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You [Remix] (3:58)
5. Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy) (4:00)
6. For the Girl Who Has Everything [Radio Mix] (3:55)
7. Are You Gonna Be There (4:06)
8. Music of My Heart (4:31)
9. Bye Bye Bye (3:19)
10. It's Gonna Be Me (3:11)
11. This I Promise You [Radio Edit] (4:26)
12. I Thought She Knew (3:20)
13. I Believe in You (4:57)
14. If I'm Not the One (3:21)
15. Pop [Radio Version] (2:55)
16. Girlfriend [The Neptunes Remix] (4:43)
17. Gone [Album Version] (4:51)
Disc 2 of 2:
1. More Than a Feeling (3:44)
2. Best of My Life (4:45)
3. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (3:10)
4. Sailing (4:36)
5. Everything I Own (3:57)
6. God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You (4:38)
7. Somewhere, Someday (4:06)
8. Trashin' the Camp (2:24)
9. If Only in Heaven's Eyes (4:37)
10. You Don't Have to Be Alone (4:33)
11. On the Line (3:18)
12. That Girl (Will Never Be Mine) (3:25)
13. Falling (3:48)
14. Feel the Love (3:08)
15. Selfish (4:19)
16. See Right Through You (2:52)
17. Believe in Yourself [TV Version- SESAME STREET] (1:43)
The album cover is a clearly a vintage pic of the band, showing breakout star Timberlake front and center with short, cropped hair and a sleeveless shirt that shows off his giant cross tattoo. It's not exactly his more polished and dapper "Suit & Tie" style of today. You'll spot a few other muscle T-shirts and a lot of spiky hair — very '90s.
While the album may be a surprise to the band (a rep for Sony's Legacy Recordings, which released the album, has not yet responded to request for comment), what's not shock is its timing. That's because exactly 14 years ago today, the band landed its first and only Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with "It's Gonna Be Me." It topped the charts for two weeks. So this new album is clearly timed with that anniversary.
As for 'N Sync really reuniting and making new music? For now, it seems these few "new" tunes will have to suffice. Last August, the guys, who are all ensconced in other projects (big and small), memorably performed together at the MTV Video Music Awards. However, that was a one-off performance. Then there was the bad April Fool's Day joke earlier this year when Bass announced that the band was getting back together and putting out new music.
So for now, 'N Sync fans will have to settle for The Essential — and sweet memories of the boy band era.