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CD Review: The 88 – Over and Over

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The OC, MTV, MTV2, EXTRA, CMJ, KCRW, Indie 103FM – The 88 are, literally, everywhere, and with good reason. They’re charming the pants off everybody who listens to them, whether it’s their catchy songs that stay in your head for days, their boyish good looks, their plain and simple talent or all three, it’s clear that the guys of 88 know how to rock, and they are more than willing to show bands how it’s supposed to be done.

Over and Over features 12 tracks ranging from incredible hook/up-tempo combo tunes and beautiful ballads (“Head Cut Off”), one about love (“You Belong To Me”, in which Keith Slettedahl’s vocals are stripped to an incredibly raw and beautiful level with a very quiet band in the background) and another about…Jesus (“Jesus Is Good”). The sound is a combination of those clean, catchy hooks, upbeat pop-rock done California style ands loads of Kinks and Beatles influence, yet the 88 still maintain a creative and unique sound all their own.

Over and Over features that one little song you might have heard a couple hundred times since it aired on the season premiere of The OC, “Hide Another Mistake” and starts the album off on a high.

The absolute best song on the album is the buzz-worthy “All ‘Cause Of You”, which has the catchy keyboard/guitar arpeggios that make the whole album so much fun to listen to, and which can also be heard on the charming track, “Everybody Loves Me”. “All ‘Cause Of You” might have the greatest hook ever to grace the music world. If you don’t believe it, you can pick up the album for yourself and check it out. Between Slettedahl’s flawless, stark vocals and the bands continuous perfect harmonies, it can best be described as musical rock bliss.

Another noteworthy song is the heartbreak anthem, “Battle Scar”, as well as the popular “Coming Home”, which was featured in the 2004 film, Surviving Christmas.

Slettedahl tells it how it is on “Nobody Cares” with the lyrics: “Nobody cares what you’ve been through / Nobody cares how much you do / Nobody cares what kind of drugs you’re on..”

The things that the 88 have accomplished in their short time together (their first album, Kind Of Light, was released in 2003), makes me tired just looking at the list. It makes one wonder what other bands are doing with their time.

After listening to Over and Over more times than I can count, it’s obvious why the band titled the album as they did – you will listen to it over and over (and not get sick of it).

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