With the recent release of Justin Bieber's music video for his single, "Boyfriend," I couldn't help but take a stroll down pop memory lane and reflect on the ear candy (and videos) that has celebrated romantic male companions -- the good, the bad, and the douchey -- over the past decade...
1. "Get Another Boyfriend" by Backstreet Boys - "He's just another player playing in the name of love," BSB warns. This track, taken from 2001's Black & Blue, was unfortunately never released as an official single, but fans could easily get into the groove as our five crooners tell an ex to dump the douchebag and see him for who truly is. Fun, Max Martin-produced pop bliss. GRADE: A-
2. "Boyfriend" by Big Time Rush feat. Snoop Dogg - Apparently in the year 2099, nightclubs (and hairstyles) will look very 2011 (maybe it'll come back in style by then)...and hot chicks will have an appetite for little alien robots. Questionable choreography, Auto-Tune, and the random collaboration from Snoop can't save this mediocre-with-a-capital-M production. This Nickelodeon-manufactured boy band will sadly have to eat the dust that's currently being left behind by the likes of One Direction and The Wanted. GRADE: C-
3. "Boyfriend" by Alphabeat - The adorable co-ed Danish band released this irresistibly, bubbly 80s throwback in 2008, and, like BSB's aforementioned song, it works as a cautionary theme, this time telling some ho-bag maneater to back off and go get a man of her own (you tell it, sister friend). And the video? It's a wonderfully colorful popsterpiece that suits the song well. GRADE: A-
4. "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You" by Black Kids - Another co-ed group! These synth rockers made a splash on the American hipster scene back when Alphabeat was taking Europe by storm, and their most popular single off Partie Traumatic is a cute concoction, filled with schoolyard chants and a nifty chorus that'll have you bopping along in your ironic tee while chugging down a PBR. GRADE: B+
5. "Gotta Boyfriend" by Frankmusik - The British electro-pop artist now known as Vincent Did It (damn those record label disputes!) had this retro-flavored gem to share from his self-titled debut effort back in the fall of 2009. GRADE: B+
6. "My Boyfriend's Back" by Katerina Graham - I had the misfortune of stumbling upon this
Then there's Mr. Bieber's contribution to the "Boyfriend" oeuvre. While I can appreciate the more mature production value of the track, I still cringe at that part where he raps about "eatin' fondue." I mean, really. WTF? And the video? Well, see for yourself (GRADE: B).
Bonus: NSync's "Girlfriend" - As you can see, the Biebs totally ripped off Timberlake & Co. Back in 2002 (a decade ago, REALLY?) these five fellows showed off their swagger while surrounded by a bevy of babes and hot cars. Director X, did you really think no one would notice the similarities? Take a gander: