Here are a few objective truths about *NSYNC's Home for Christmas: It went Double Platinum before it hit shelves! It is one of the biggest Christmas albums ever! It has a great Amazon score! It was the only CD my best friend and I listened to in December of 1998! And in December of 1999! And in December of 2000! And I'm still listening to it in December of 2015! And as fellow Bustler Mary Grace Garis said, it's a masterpiece!
Here's one more truth about the boy band's collection of original and classic Xmas tunes: as timeless and perfect and beautiful as it is, the album wasn't exactly a critical darling. Exhibit A:
"Fans of the group will certainly find it reasonably enjoyable, even though it makes it clear that the group simply can't rival such peers as the Spice Girls or the Backstreet Boys in terms of charisma." — AllMusic.com, 2.5 stars
OK, that's not too crushing a review. Sure, I'm side-eying those 2.5 stars, and sure, that comparison to BSB and the Spice Girls is plenty salty, but "reasonably enjoyable" isn't the meanest description ever. Onto the next:
"For anyone as sick of standards as we are, ‘N Sync does provide a Christmas album where 11 of 14 tracks are promisingly unfamiliar. But better they should stick with what works, as your grandma would say. Their writing stable simply strings together sentimental-sounding non sequiturs, an hour-plus of which ultimately renders their initially alluring, smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom harmonies vaguely robotic." — Entertainment Weekly, "C"
Zoinks. And one more:
"For the most part, this is simple strolls and slow jams offset only by the vocal histrionics of five boys leaping over each other for attention. It's the sound of a little girl's Christmas dream and, as such, should probably be over by morning." —Orlando Weekly
Music critics weren't the only ones who weren't feeling the album; Home for Christmas was trolled within an inch of its holly jolly life on RateYourMusic.com. The album's cumulative score: 1.43 out of 5. Out of the 160 people who rated the album, five left reviews. A whopping zero reviews are remotely positive. Here are few choice excerpts:
- "I think if someone put this on at a Christmas party I'd leave, it's that bad. If you want a full house this year I wouldn't buy this." — Dominator258.
- "it was a sad excuse for a xmas album. i thought there was no way anyone could mess up christmas but NSYNC proved me wrong." — socouluver57.
- "Halfway through the album you will really start to hate the christmas season." — Threntall.
Hold up, are we listening to the same CD? Because those words do not reflect the Home for Christmas I know and love. I think it goes without saying that I profoundly disagree with all of the Home for Christmashate. It will always and forever be a classic Xmas album. I will let the music speak for itself.
Those gorgeous a cappella harmonies couldn't sound "vaguely robotic" if they tried.
This undeniable jam couldn't "mess up Christmas" if it tried.
This upbeat ditty couldn't make me "hate the Christmas season" if it tried.
That catchy chorus couldn't thwart your "full house" Christmas party if it tried.
(Yes, my response to "Meh, I didn't like the songs" is "Wait, but listen to the songs." Such an impressive argument. Somewhere, my high school debate coach is beaming with pride.)