Teenage Dream

A new bevy of boy bands are conquering the music charts—and the hearts of little girls everywhere.


This quintet of hard-partying Brits recalls the wild days of New Kids on the Block, sans the sex scandal (thus far). The group’s string of hits includes “Glad You Came,” which is loaded with naughty double entendres. Dress code: Plunging V-necks, tight pants, and faux-rugged work boots. Dance party: Jumping frantically in place while air-punching—repeated ad infinitum. Fan base: Frighteningly extremist—some threatened mortal harm upon the Dublin music critic who wrote an unfavorable review.


These four future princes of R&B—still in their early teens—were made into a group by Vincent Herbert, the impresario who “discovered” Lady Gaga. They sing about missed curfews and innocent texts, but they already have a Top 10 record and know how to gyrate like Ushers-in-training. Dress code: Wifebeaters and black leather jackets, worn with dark sunglasses in da club. Dance party: Impressive bumping and grinding, popping and locking. Fan base: Shorties and ex-Beliebers who feel Biebs is over-the-hill.


The Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush follows four Minnesota hockey players trying to make it as a boy band; incredibly, the show has led to a hit album—not to mention a public squabble with a rival group called, sadly, All Time Low. Dress code: Singer James Maslow’s blow-dried coif suggests a lesbian Chace Crawford. Dance party: The lack of precision in their choreography would’ve gotten them fired from 98°. Fan base: Nickelodeon viewers, nannies, and one young girl who jumped out of a plane with a btr-emblazoned parachute.


After auditioning as solo acts for The X Factor in the U.K., five boys joined forces to inflict upon an unsuspecting public their PG-rated paeans, garnering both Mom’s approval and waves of teenage puppy love. Dress code: Safe. One’s first impulse is to reward them with treats. Dance party: Lots of energetic, aimless strutting, à la Menudo. Fan base: Directioners, as their unruly fans are known, have succumbed to everything from fainting spells to an inability to stop shrieking—hence the band’s reported 100-strong security detail.