The 88 - Kind Of Light (CD)
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.
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.
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.
more on the band and getting their new CD, visit http://www.the88.net
and learn more.