(Un)covered: Bye Bye Bye

N*Sync vs. Our Last Night By | July 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

“Bye Bye Bye”
Songwriter(s): Kristian Lundin, Jake Shulze, Andreas Carlsson
Original Release Date: January 11, 2000 (TransContinental/RCA Records)

14 years ago, one of the greatest boy bands to ever live topped the charts with their career-defining single. N*Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” defined a generation of pop music and impacted the stereos of teenage girls everywhere (and by default, everyone else too). Despite its simple structure and lyrics, the song has maintained popularity for almost a decade and a half, though now it seems to be memorable more for its nostalgia.

The song is introduced by delicate strings, but it’s that chunky beat that kickstarts the instantly recognizable melody. N*Sync’s two lead vocalists, JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake, sing back and forth over a dance pop beat that defined the band’s notably cheesy dance moves (see music video). The lyrics describe the end of a relationship, but there’s some speculation floating around the internet that the lyrics may also reference the band’s departure from TransContinental/RCA Records and the massive lawsuit with their former manager Lou Pearlman, who was responsible for forming N*Sync. Considering the song was not written by the members of N*Sync, it’s unlikely that the two correlate. The songwriters, Kristian Lundin, Jake Shulze, and Andreas Carlsson, wrote extensively with many pop artists of the 2000s, including numerous singles for N*Sync, The Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Celine Dion, among others.

Our Last Night flip the pop hit upside down and make it a heavy, gritty rock song. They open the cover with moaning guitars that imitate the original’s strings and echo throughout the entirety of the song. One hit on the kickdrum and then guitars burst forward with rumbling riffs that completely transform the tone. Set It Off’s vocalist Cody Carson joins Trevor and Matt Wentworth to create three layers of huge vocals that alternate on melodies, harmonies, and stacked verses. The driving force of this cover comes from the pure emotion that Our Last Night and Carson bring to the table. Each part channels the anger and frustration you would expect from a song about the end of a detrimental relationship. Carson and the Wentworth brothers especially shine when delivering their rough vocals that tie in true feelings, both on this cover and on their own original songs.

N*Sync have always been very close to my heart because they are the first band I was ever obsessed with. I memorized the lyrics, I learned the cheesy dance moves, and I maintained a ridiculous infatuation with Justin Timberlake (really, who didn’t?). I was a bit skeptical to hear the cover because it’s hard to remake such a popular and familiar song and get it right, but Our Last Night and Cody Carson did not let me down. This collaboration put a lot of effort into the cover and added their unique spin to it. It’s that sort of creativity that makes pop covers so addicting for me.

Our Last Night and Cody Carson have announced that they’ll be playing their version of “Bye Bye Bye” every night of the Come Alive Tour, which just kicked off this week. Head to a show to hear the live version of this awesome cover!

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