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Category:    Home > Reviews > Pop > Rock > The 88 - Kind Of Light (CD)

The 88 - Kind Of Light (CD)


Sound: B+     Music: A+



Influences.  They can be a merciful muse or an awful yoke to bear.  Witness a few years back, when Oasis was openly pillaging The Beatles' back catalog for all its' worth.  Aerosmith and the Black Crowes made their money as second-class Rolling Stones.  And don't forget all those nameless punk bands that rip off their favorite bands, who in turn ripped off their favorite bands: A copy of a copy of a copy.  Eventually, all those replicants degenerate into being indistinct, which makes The 88 different.  This So.Cal-based band is distinct because while they have influences, they don't wear them on their sleeve.


Kind Of Light is The 88's debut CD, thirteen tracks from the mad mind of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Keith Sletterdahl.  With some production help, Sletterdahl is one of the rarities in today's music world: a guy who can fill a whole album with good songs.  His name should be shouted from the rooftops, and his band should be dating people like Drew Barrymore and James King, while riding high upon the charts.  Alas, Kind Of Light won't be a hit outside of their area, because it is utterly indescribable in the sense that people describe bands as sounding like "x band meets y band".  Since that can't be done in this case, The 88 are destined to fall through the cracks.


There is one reason among many that calls for The 88 to be raised to rooftops.  Track Four on Kind Of Light, "How Good It Can Be" offers a dreamworld unto its' own: soaring keyboards, groovin' chord progressions, and one of the best choruses I've ever heard, where Sletterdahl intones: "Leave it up to me. . . I'll tell you just how good it can be/this lazy summer."  Ideal cruisin' music, with stinging George Harrison-esque lead guitar.  And I couldn't tell you who it sounded like.


There are a few songs that come close to the grandeur of "How Good It Can Be," like the trumpet-flavored "Melting In The Sun" and the heavy rock of "Hate Me."  There is not one weak song on this CD, which I'd love to tell you more about, but I can't.  The PCM CD Stereo sound is also exceptional for an independent production.  It is great listening.  Hell, I wouldn't known about it had they not sent it to me.  But in the off-chance you find it, buy it.  You'll like it.  You better, at least.


For more on the band and getting their new CD, visit http://www.the88.net and learn more.



-   Michael J. Farmer


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