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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Justin Timberlake & NSYNC's Paradise

I've been wanting to write about this song, to bring and keep it here, forever to be cherished, since I first heard it. And it's been a while now, but I finally can. It came out during a heavy moment for me, and even so, I could love it so much...

Justin Timberlake has been the bringer of pleasant surprises for NSYNC fans since last year. And don't get me wrong, I appreciate Justin and his solo works as well (and I can go off about them too). But when you get NSYNC together, it hits on whole other levels. And I'm sooo thankful for it!

I'm not even sure how to describe it exactly, but it does something not only to my brain - but to my spirit, too. NSYNC was the band I hyperfixated on when I was young and yet to become cynical. You wouldn't believe the degree to which I loved this band and everything they did. And it was in such an innocent way, too. They hooked me with a music video of a psych ward, then with their glowing personalities, their impressive performances, and left me with lifelong favorite music and the memory of a fulfilling childhood that was complete with most-listened-to CDs. I knew nothing about the world back then. I didn't even know English and my obsession with them sped up my learning of it (thank you again for that!).

Unfortunately, I moved a lot since then. And quite often, in a rush and leaving possessions behind. So I no longer have any of the NSYNC merchandise I collected. I wish I still did to have proof of my level of craziness, but you'll have to believe me on this one. And maybe that's for the best. Pfft. But in other words, yup, definitely a true fan.

And it's so weird for me now because I disconnected from all of that until recently, when I suddenly saw them together again at the awards. I don't even know how to have this conversation with my child self. Like, how do I even begin to explain to her everything that has happened in between and up to this point, where she gets to live again? She'd be in utter disbelief. Everything from how life went to how much has changed all around. The unbelievable situations we'd find ourselves in. And how nice it all can be after and despite it all.

I don't know for how long NSYNC will continue to show up as a band, but it has already been magical. They indeed took us to a better place.

And this song, Paradise, is so absolutely perfect in so many ways. The melody and the lyrics come across as genuinely inspired and sincerely made with love. And as if that wasn't enough already, the vocals and the harmonizing between them are astoundingly flawless and outstanding. You'd believe angels are singing. I can't imagine a better gift, better wrapped, for those of us who are happy to see them and have them around once more. They really went in on this one and over-delivered.

The far-sighted and holistic view employed through it can make trivial and petty troubles look as small and insignificant as they are, lifting us to a plane where meaning is what is important and it prevails. I don't know about you, but for me, it is a remarkable example of art working wonders. And this one does it by connecting largely distanced points across time and space in a manner that transcends the mundane and arrives at what's considered paradise. It is soothing, relieving, and gently engulfing in the softest and fluffiest clouds. Talk about transmitting vibes and setting moods.

Needless to say, it got a special place in my heart.