The NSync/BSB/NKOTB imitator boy bands of the ’90s are a gold mine of music video fun. 5ive, a UK import, had even fewer hits than 98 Degrees and LFO, but their legacy lives on through this classic, which features lots of too-blue eyes, bowling, bored babes and barely synchronized dance moves. ---
Items of note:
• Why does a bowling alley have an advanced sound-mixing system?
• Wait, what is the Brian Austin Green lookalike wearing? Are those snowsuit overalls?
• I think it’s implied that these teens have all been scheming and planning to stay in the bowling alley overnight, but the girls just seem confused and annoyed the whole time. “What? Who turned on the lights? Why’d you wake me up? I was getting great REM sleep behind these bowling balls!”
• I can’t tell if the dancing is simply poorly choreographed or if you’re not really supposed to know how many members are in the band. Sometimes there’s only two or three of them in the frame, and other times they’re all dancing in a line perpendicular to the camera so it looks like just one dancer with lots of arms.
• 5ive were supposed to be the more “street” version of the other boy bands, but they really only display this edge during a few of the moments outside the bowling alley, when they suddenly lunge at the screen in unison, as though the cameraman snitched on their illicit caffeine-pill trade.
• Every boy band traditionally had a random middle-age member (the Joey Fatone syndrome), but 5ive seemed to have two. Wait, three? Again, I don’t know how many people are in the band, but I’d say it’s 67 percent unattractive/scary.
• Speaking of scary, someone made everyone wear bright-blue contacts.
• The rap part—about taking clothes off/ bodies looking so soft/ getting between the sheets—was not played on the radio. I remember because the music video seemed so scandalous when I saw it the first time. Those were different times, and yes, I was a sheltered Mormon.
• I’m almost positive that the girls and the guys were not on the set for more than 5ive minutes together. And, if the girl characters in your music video are so bored that they resort to a food fight, at least make them fight with cake frosting or pudding or ice cream cones or something they can smear around sexily—popcorn is just lame, and ineffectual as a food-fight weapon, to boot.
• This bowling alley should rethink their security practices and give their guard an actual key to the building, not just a flashlight.
What with 5ive being a product of the UK, they had a different video for their homeland, a pleasant surprise I found on YouTube. They must have blown their budget on renting the American bowling alley, because despite the high-tech premise of the video, it looks like they just borrowed a dentist chair and some shower curtains and hired an elementary-school kid to do some computer graphics.
Items of note:
• The members of the band are more distinguishable here, but no less geeky looking. One of them looks like he just came off an audition for Dave Coulier’s Uncle Joey character on Full House.
• Does the girl have a broken nose? Why do they only show her eyes and her lips? Also, why is she so turned on (I’m guessing that’s what’s implied with her continually parting lips, like some early version of Keira Knightley) by these fully clothed uncoordinated dancers?
• Ooh, a different rap! The lyrics are funny: “I can get you off/ Cos I'm ready and equipped now.” Now? As in just recently?
• 5ive was formed by the same guy who created the Spice Girls. Alas, they never achieved the same popularity, most likely due to their lack of firm identities (couldn’t they have gone with Hawaii Five-O, Fievel, High Five, um … OK, well, couldn’t they have just been numbered 1-5?).
• Still, they were signed to a six-album deal with BMG/RCA. The housing bubble had nothing on ’90s teen pop acts.
• Russell Brand tried out for the group. Just think, if he’d made it, Russell Brand's period of relevancy would have been much briefer and quieter.
• They unsuccessfully tried to stage a comeback in 2007 … you know, the year of Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, Soulja Boy, Fergie and Timbaland. Nice try, 5ive.