Spin - p.1003 stars out of 5
-- "These glammy rave-ups -- imagine Mika fronting Maroon 5 -- conjure big emotions without getting mired in tawdry realities."
The 88: Keith Slettedahl (vocals, guitar); Adam Merrin (piano, keyboards); todd o'keefe (bass guitar); Anthony Zimmitti (drums).
Personnel: Brett Farkas (guitar); Joel Derouin, Tereza Stanislav (violin); Robert Brophy (viola); Jennifer Kuhn (cello); Bob Zimmitti (percussion); John O'Brien (programming).
On their third album, California power-popsters the 88 make a bid for big-time success with production assistance from R&B guru Babyface and alt-rock mastermind Matt Wallace. The results bounce confidently from Cheap Trick-inspired shiny hooks to radio-geared melancholic balladry on down to a mid-tempo middle ground reminiscent of emo vets like Jimmy Eat World. But the highlights are when vocalist Keith Slettedahl channels his inner Robin Zander for some anthemic transcendence on tracks like "Sons & Daughters."