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The 88 - Over And Over (Mootron)

by Jessica Hundley

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There is nothing not to like about The 88. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a band more likeable, more cheery and sweet and eager to please. An irrepressible blend of deftly played pop and rock 'n' roll, The 88 elicits boundless enthusiasm from an army of die-hard L.A. fans. They're hometown heroes in a city infamous for being rigorously unimpressed. Their second full-length, Over And Over (a welcome follow-up to their fine debut, Kind Of Light), is brimming with energy and sweet nostalgia. Tracks like "Hide Another Mistake" are true pop gems, everything you want in a hit song—danceable, emotional, cheery little ditties impossible not to bounce to, or sing along with, at top volume in your car. The miracle is that The 88's sound is utterly without the usual pop saccharine; the insincerity; or the glossy, bossy over-production. Somehow the band has skimmed off the cream of the '60s and '70s' most lovable musical moments—Bowie in Ziggy glitz; Lennon in love; McCartney in his gleeful, carefree Wings era; Marc Bolan as he was dancing right out the womb. The result is nothing short of glorious, and never derivative or strained. The 88 have managed to do what needs to be done—take audiophile obsession and mix in enough modern sensibility and guitar power to bring peace, love, and understanding to a whole new audience.

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Jessica Hundley is an LA-based filmmaker and journalist. Her documentary on Latino fans of The Smiths, Viva Morrissey! is currently making the festival rounds, and her new book, Grievous Angel: The Life of Gram Parsons, will be released in November 2005 from Thunder's Mouth Press.


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