Millennials were delighted earlier this month when news they’d been hoping to hear for years was confirmed: NSYNC is reuniting. The boy band has a new song titled “Better Place” coming later this month, and fans can’t wait to hear it. The tune was written and recorded for the upcoming animated film Trolls Band Together, the third in the series, which is expected later in 2023.
While “Better Place” was penned specifically for the children’s movie, it also serves another purpose: helping Justin Timberlake mount a comeback.
The last few years have been tough on Timberlake, both professionally and personally. He has been called out for past behavior toward people like Britney Spears, who garnered massive public support as she fought her conservatorship. But even before the tides turned and the masses seemed to lose their love for the singer, his music career wasn’t going as well as it had in the past.
Timberlake’s last album, Man of the Woods, was released more than five years ago. The title debuted at No. 1 and produced a pair of top 10 hits, but it largely underperformed. It quickly came and went, and it will be remembered as his worst-performing set yet, both commercially and critically.
Since Man of the Woods disappeared, Timberlake has featured on a handful of songs by other artists, like Meek Mill, Calvin Harris, Romeo Santos, Coco Jones and Ant Clemons, which were all momentary and minor successes. At one time, adding Timberlake’s name and vocals to a song ensured it would become a smash, but it seems those days are gone…but he’s working on bringing them back.
He also returned for the second Trolls movie, for which he and SZA released “The Other Side” in 2020. The track failed to break into the top 40 on the Hot 100, which was in stark contrast to how well his past singles performed on the tally. In fact, his first Trolls tune, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!,” was an immediate No. 1, earning him Grammy nods and an Oscar nomination.
More than 20 years after they split up, NSYNC is still beloved by the general public. The boy band defined an era for many music listeners, and excitement around the five members remains at an all-time high. Any time they are seen together, it makes headlines, and a new song is nearly too thrilling for some to bear.
If “Better Place” performs well on the charts and becomes a hit, it could open a lot of doors for Timberlake. All it takes is one successful song to change some people’s minds, and it could set his next chapter up for a win.
Timberlake has reportedly been in the studio with his frequent collaborator Timbaland working on new material, likely for an album. The two recently joined up with singer Nelly Furtado for a new single titled “Keep Going Up,” which is just getting started on the Billboard charts, though it likely won’t replicate the success of the three musicians’s first collaboration, “Give It to Me,” which topped the Hot 100.
Timberlake surely has more music on the way, but setting the stage for his comeback is incredibly important. Using NSYNC to turn the tables on his public perception could be the best way to reintroduce himself to the masses, and with some luck, the reunion may put him back on top.
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