Posted by: Chelsea Novak | June 18, 2008

Should I rewind?

I heard the new New Kids On The Block song Summertime last week. Because of work and social constraints I haven’t had the time to sit down and give this song the attention it deserves.

Before I go on, I should state for the record that when I was 11/12, NKOTB was the sun that my world revolved around. My bedroom was plastered, from floor to ceiling in photos pulled from teenie-bopper magazines (My sister has a photo that she’s holding onto for a prime blackmail opportunity of me sitting in the middle of my shrine, holding a photo of Donnie Whalberg, smiling an embarrassingly large smile at it all). I knew every breath of every song, knew every dance move and had the superlative moment of my 12-year-old life at their concert in Ottawa (which my very kind future blackmailer sister took me to). You know, just like every other girl at that time. 🙂

I’d like to be too cool for school here and be embarrassed of being part of that collectivist idolatry experience, but I am, in no way, ashamed. It was a hell of a lot of fun. Like Sapphire in Almost Famous said “To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.” While NKOTB was in no way about loving the music, I was still very much in love. Love as a 12-year-old girl understands it.

Now that I’ve listened to Summertime about 100 times in the last week, I think the new song Summertime is brilliant. Not musically brilliant, but totally market savvy. NKOTB know that their fans have grown up. Many of them married with kids in their early 30s, working hard, lots of responsibility and lots of reality. Putting out a song teeming with nostalgia, set in the most carefree season of the year is very clever.

I know it appeals to me that way. There’s a bit of horror in my heart as I’ve now joined that demographic that can be appealed to through nostalgia, but I’ll forgive it. And not to suggest that I long for a different time in my life, cause life keeps getting better as I get older and there’s no way I’d go back to adolescence, even if you paid me. But something about the song makes me feel like an ex-boyfriend from way, way back in the day got in touch to say “We weren’t meant to be, but it was a great moment in my life.” It was summer; it was carefree; it was all about fun.

So to the lads I once adored from Beantown; right back at you, boys! It was a good time and I commend you on coming back in a way that makes it a pleasure to reflect on the past without tainting those oh so precious memories. While thinking of those days doesn’t make me crazy per say, it does give me an embarrassingly large smile.


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