Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

'N Sync: Greatest Hits [Jive, 2005]
Long ago and far away, serious young men regarded boy groups as the direst threat to their musical way of life. But that was before September 11 taught us what a threat is and American Idol taught us what crap is. This modest 12-song summation tops anything Boyz II Men could muster, and though it lacks a masterpiece to equal the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," everyone this side of Nick Carter's mama knows that Justin Timberlake was a lead singer of vastly superior chops, wit, and emotional delicacy. "I Want You Back" "It's Gonna Be Me," and "Bye Bye Bye" are prefab rhythm at its most efficient. And ballads that once were icky as inescapable objects of obsession are now kinda touching as artifacts. [Blender: 4]