It’s gonna be May!

Or, a multi-purpose song

Well, kids, it’s that time of year—the time when we whose formative understanding of music was indelibly shaped by *NSYNC (among other iconic boy bands) quote the central thesis of one of their hits to ring in first truly springlike month in the Northern Hemisphere. And I mean quote it exactly, so exactly that, although the phrase is “it’s gonna be me,” we pronounce “me” the way they do (or specifically the way Justin does), which makes it…May.

Side note: is *NSYNC the only band with an asterisk in its name? Actually, no; there was A*TEENS, that young prefab ABBA-type quartet, who were big around the same time. I still listen to “Upside Down.”

Now, I wasn’t quite old enough to be the target demographic for *NSYNC or their counterparts the Backstreet Boys. (Britney was something else entirely, and boy could I tell some stories about my class’s relationship to her.) So I was officially introduced to their catalogue several years late. In those days the natural favorite was “Bye Bye Bye”; it was certainly the one we all heard most often.

As an adult, though (term used very loosely), I may have come to cherish “It’s Gonna Be Me” even more. The bouncy production, the harpsichord punctuations, the silly beatboxing, the oh-so-satisfying first line (“you might’ve been hurt BABE”—gets me pumped every time), the build-up to that a cappella moment on the bridge. Not to mention, in the chorus, the chord on “love somebody” changes between minor and major with each repetition. What’s not to love?

The whole is more complex than I think we give it credit for because it seems on the surface like such a good mass-appeal pop song. It’s as if, on a meta level, the song itself is saying ‘you might overlook me now, but just you wait, you’re gonna realize how much you love me.’ What????

Anyway, you don’t need an excuse to listen to this masterpiece, but make sure to play it at least once for ritual purposes before the day is out. It brings good luck, you know.

Image: the album whence the song comes, released 21 March 2000 on Jive Records

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Published by Cecilia Gigliotti

Cecilia Gigliotti (she/her) lives in Berlin with a beloved ukulele named Uke Skywalker. She co-hosts and produces the music commentary podcast POD SOUNDS. Her free time goes toward dancing, reading books new and old, drawing cartoons, taking city walks, and devoting too much thought to the foibles of her heroes. Connect with her on Instagram (@c_m_giglio, @ceciliagphotography, @pod_sounds_podcast) and see what else she's up to (

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