We can’t wait for the wall of teen pop to collapse — if only because the genre’s shiniest buttons will then be compiled onto a definitive disc of breathless boy crooners and midriff-baring pop tarts. (And thus sparing us album padders: Return to the hell from whence you came, ”Bringin’ Da Noise” and ”Dear Diary”!) Allow us to beat the Reaper to the punch with our dream lineup, in chronological order, for ”Totally Now.”
HANSON ”MMMBop”: Phase 1 of the new world order, and still boppy after all these years.
SPICE GIRLS ”Wannabe”: Admit it — you love the ”zigga-zig-aah!” part.
BACKSTREET BOYS ”Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)”: Among the most uplifting songs about romantic despair, lovingly crooned to boot.
‘N SYNC ”Tearin’ Up My Heart”: The birth of Euroteenpop. ”With or without you” lyric almost as good as U2’s!
BACKSTREET BOYS ”As Long as You Love Me”: Because they’ll never again sound so young and earnest.
BRITNEY SPEARS ”…Baby One More Time”: Historic, as much for the video as the song. (Can substitute its evil twin, ”Oops!… I Did It Again.”)
BRITNEY SPEARS ”(You Drive Me) Crazy”: Those ’90s teens — all hussied up and nowhere to go.
BACKSTREET BOYS ”I Want It That Way”: Essential teaching aid in future college courses on Majestic Pop Choruses 101. Lyrics, meanwhile, analyzed in Confusing Lyrics 101.
CHRISTINA AGUILERA ”Genie in a Bottle”: The genre’s leading jailbait anthem — minus the trilly overkill that ruins her other records.
BACKSTREET BOYS ”Larger Than Life”: Teen arena pop-rock emerges. The inane fan-empowerment lyrics we could do without.
LFO ”Girl on TV”: Because you’re too busy singing along with ”I wish for you on a falling star” to worry if the narrator is a fan or a blade-wielding stalker.
‘N SYNC ”It’s Gonna Be Me”: Maximum Max Martin.
BRITNEY SPEARS ”Stronger”: She’s a survivor, she’s gonna make it — at least when it comes to that boy, if not her aging audience.
‘N SYNC ”I’ll Be Good for You”: Figures their finest smooth-groove track is based on an R&B oldie, but at least they have good taste.
HANSON ”Runaway Run”: From the album after the one with ”MMMBop,” a non-single that should have been one.
BBMAK ”Back Here”: As clean and direct in its emotions as in its arrangement — a rare instance of an underproduced teen hit.
BACKSTREET BOYS ”The Call”: Teen pop grows up and realizes it can do adult things (like sing about cheating on girlfriends).
DREAM ”He Loves U Not”: The next generation