Photo Credit: Steve Mack/FilmMagic
98 Degrees has released their first single since 2000, and trust us: It's not what you're expecting. In "Microphone," Nick Lachey, Jeff Timmons, Drew Lachey and Justin Jeffre try out a new dance-pop sound, and a really embarrassing sexual metaphor. (Hint: "grab the microphone" does not refer to karaoke.) Listen below!
Guess the idea is that that they're no longer a "boy band," so they have to prove they're all sexy and manly? That's the only reason we can imagine that four men in their late '30s would choose this cringe-worthy tune. Let's count the ways that "Microphone" creeps us out:
1. The icky metaphor. He wants you to "sing into his microphone," get it? "Grab it" like you're "ready to blow," get it? Of course you get it. A 13-year-old boy would get it. A 13-year-old boy probably wrote it.
2. The weirdly aggressive overtones. Opening lines: "When I’m done with you/You’ll be able to carry a tune/I’mma take you to school/ And teach you how to use this microphone." When did 98 Degrees become the sleazy guys hitting on underage girls at the club?
3. The part about money. "How would it taste? Can you put your money where your mouth is?" the band sings. Is this song about hiring a prostitute? No, seriously -- is it?
3. The "Sound of Music" flashbacks. Okay, maybe we're alone on this one, but we can't hear "do-re-mi-fa-so" without seeing Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp children in their matching curtain outfits. And we're pretty sure that's the last thing 98 Degrees was going for.
The funny thing is, the song might not be so embarrassing if somebody else were singing it. Maybe Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars, or even Prince, could win us over with the microphone metaphor. Unfortunately, the guys from 98 Degrees just don't have the swagger or charisma to pull it off. We're just glad they didn't go into this direction back when they were a boy band. Otherwise, "The Hardest Thing" would probably be about something very different.