The Crazy 88
Despite the clever guise of sounding like a poppy Top 40 band, with new album, Over and Over, The 88 present a volume of work that is deeper lyrically and musically than an initial listen might have you think. With a flair for jazzy orchestrations and velvet croons, Over and Over is a twelve-track exploration of love and defeat in the same vein as a Jason Mraz or Eric Hutchison album. The disc dabbles in a poppy ’60s sound while still maintaining its rock integrity.
Album opener â€šÃ„ÃºHide Another Mistakeâ€šÃ„Ã¹ firmly establishes their pop-rock roots with a sound similar to OK Go in its upbeat attitude. While the rock influences are integrated throughout the album, it is in their jazzier tunes that their talent is really apparent and unique. â€šÃ„ÃºHead Cut Offâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºYou Belong to Meâ€šÃ„Ã¹ each have a ballad quality that is discreetly juxtaposed with soft, playful rock.
â€šÃ„ÃºJesus is Goodâ€šÃ„Ã¹ stands out from the rest in that it takes a completely different turn with allusions to French outfit Air in its soft, smooth jazz orchestration. The lyrics are haunting in their melancholy: â€šÃ„ÃºBut Jesus is good / The angels all screamed He could / But I’m waiting here just to leave / All this life’s just too much to believe.â€šÃ„Ã¹
As a whole, Over and Over is a solid showing from the band that introduces a modular quality missing from most mainstream rock. Singer Keith Slettedahlâ€šÃ„Ã´s velvety smooth voice coupled with the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s jazz-pop styling gives The 88 a uniquely mod sound.