Prepare to feel incredibly old, millennials: No Strings Attached, *NSYNC’s most successful (and best) album, turns 15 today. The band’s sophomore LP is pure bubblegum paradise — infectious, cheesy, and just a little bit angsty. It’s also *NSYNC’s most successful album to date and still holds the record for the most albums sold in a debut week (2.4 million — not even Taylor Swift could top that). Needless to say, No Strings Attached is pretty badass, but we bet you didn’t know the album is the only thing you need to navigate the complicated world of ~*LoVe.
Underneath No Strings Attached’s catchy choruses are some nuggets about relationships that are real as hell. Turns out, the frosted-tip boys who once made hearts flutter are also spot-on love doctors. We revisited No Strings Attached — the greatest album of the teen-pop boom — and selected the 15 best perils of wisdom from Justin Timberlake and the gang. Cancel your Cosmopolitan subscriptions, people; this gem of an album is all you need.
1. “Bye Bye Bye”
The lyrics: “Don’t wanna be a fool for you/Just another player in your game for two.”
The lesson: If you don’t stop your lies, then GTFO.
The lyrics: “Just hit me with the truth/Now, girl you’re more than welcome to/So give me one good reason/Baby come on.”
The lesson: Please tell me why you ate the last slice of cake. I’m just looking for some honesty.
2. “It’s Gonna Be Me”
The lyrics: “Every little thing I do/Never seems enough for you/You don’t wanna lose it again/But I’m not like them.”
The lesson: I’m a damn flawless person. If you don’t see that now, trust me. You will.
3. “Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay)” (featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes)
The lyrics: “And if you’re in the mood to take a ride/Then strap on the suit and get inside.”
The lesson: Always use protection.
4. “Just Got Paid”
The lyrics: “Check the mirror, lookin’ fly/Round up the posse, jump in my ride.”
The lesson: In order to attract a mate, it is necessary to wear stylin’ threads and wear said threads while driving expensive cars.
5. “It Makes Me Ill”
The lyrics: “He’s not the type you said you liked/His style is wack, clothes are bad/Come on, girl, let him go/I want you back.”
The lesson: Fashion is the most important factor in determining someone’s dating worth.
6. “This I Promise You”
The lyrics: “And I will take/You in my arms/And hold you right where you belong/Till the day my life is through/This I promise you.”
The lesson: Make your proposals amazing. Like, rent helicopters.
7. “No Strings Attached”
The lyrics: “You don’t have to be afraid to fall in love/And I know that you’ve hurt in the past/But if you want it, here’s my heart/No strings attached.”
The lesson: Sometimes it’s OK to proclaim your love to your partner at the top of a hill à la The Sound Of Music.
8. “Digital Get Down”
The lyrics: “I lose my mind just when you’re speaking/I see you on the screen, I get to freaking/So get down babe/And I’ll get down for you.”
The lesson: Phone sex is an A+ way to cope with long distance relationships.
9. “I’ll Never Stop”
The lyrics: “All the lies/How I regret them baby now/I am the loser/And you’re shining like the sun/Tell me why can’t I still be the one?”
The lesson: If you fuck up, own up to it. Roughly 83 percent of problems can be solved with pizza.
10. “Bringin’ da Noise”
The lyrics: “Let’s raise the roof/And give ’em proof/That we can get loose ya’ll.”
The lesson: Another surefire way to attract a mate? Throw a party and invite everyone to show how PoPuLaR you are.
11. “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You”
The lyrics: “You’ll never cry long as I am there/And I will always be there/You will never be without love.”
The lesson: Everyone — guy or girl — wants a superhero every now and then.
12. “I’ll Be Good for You”
The lyrics: “Now I know you think I must be faking/I promised all these things right from the start/So don’t you rush into decision making (rush, rush)/Cause I just wrote this song to tell you my heart/I wanna be with you.”
The lesson: Bite your pessimistic tongue! Romance is REAL.
13. “If I’m Not the One”
The lyrics: “If I’m not the one you want, then who’s he?/Take your time to figure out, and you’ll see/If I’m not the one you want, then maybe/I’ll be the one you need.”
The lesson: I have Insomnia Cookies on speed dial, and the monster you’re dating doesn’t. I think it’s pretty clear who you should pick.
14. “I Thought She Knew”
The lyrics: “I thought she knew/My world revolved around her/My love light burned for her alone/But she couldn’t see the flame/Only myself to blame/I should have known.”
The lesson: Did you not hear me earlier? I’m flawless! I promise I’m literally the best that’s out there.