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Review: The 88 – Over And Over

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Artist: The 88
Album: Over And Over
Release Date: September 20, 2005
Label: Mootron Records
Rating: 4.2 out of 5

The 88’s lead singer Keith Slettedahl fingers records by The Beatles, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (given to him by his Dad) as the albums that “…really made me want to write songs.” Not a bad group of influences if you ask me. The band’s debut record “Kind of Light” was released in June of 2003 to much critical acclaim. Voted the “best band in L.A.”, the group had a series of successes because of their stand-out talent. These career-launching events included the track “How Good It Can Be” from the debut, appearing on the hipster soundtrack compilation CD “Music From The O.C. Mix 1.” Being featured on episode #37 of NPR’s “All Songs Considered“. Appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel show last year. And getting some seriously good ink on the pages of some music rags with names like “Rolling Stone” and “Paste.” The O.C. support will continue on September 8th when the show will feature the brand new track “Hide Another Mistake“.

The 88’s sophomore effort, “Over And Over“, hits store shelves on September 20th, but if you can’t wait until then you can preview 3 tracks from the new record at the band’s Myspace page. This is complex pop with a late 60’s vibe, much like the retro-chic chick on the cover art suggests. I hear Beatles, Kinks and Jellyfish at times, but The 88 sound is unique, clean and modern. Standard rock hookery gives way to intricate vocal/instrument laddering. The arrangements are brilliant. Huge dynamic rushes collide with quirky alt-rock sensibility and even ragtime piano. It all works in a way that I find extremely hard to describe. I will either get sick of “Over and Over” quickly or this is the most brilliant album of the year. It’s going to take me a month of listening in order to figure it out. I do think that “Over and Over” will get the critics swooning and the college girls dancing, which I might add, is not an easy thing to do.

My first impression? Simply, Wow!

Track Listing:

1. Hide Another Mistake
2. All ‘Cause of You

3. Nobody Cares
4. Bowls
5. Head Cut Off
6. Battle Star
7. Coming Home
8. You Belong To Me
9. Haunt You
10. Jesus Is Good
11. Everybody Loves Me
12. Not Enough

Band Members:

Keith Slettedahl (vocals & guitar), Adam Merrin (piano), Brandon Jay (guitar), Carlos Torres (bass), Anthony Zimmitti (drums)

Robert Burke spends much of his time lovingly crafting thematic music playlists at the Rhapsody Radish.

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