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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ask Bobby #12
September 25, 2023

The 88 are “Not Only” on seven TV shows “But Also” three commercials!

Last week I had to take the red-eye down to L.A. to make a 9:00AM meeting with a few execs. My new start-up is finally taking off, and I’m in the process of creating a base for expansion in California. I was sad to leave my new fiancée on the east coast, but if I secure this deal in L.A., we’ll be able to buy a bigger loft, go on a ski vacation in Utah, and buy matching Vespas for the two of us to get around the city. After my plane touched down, I left LAX and jumped into the limo that was waiting for me. As we drove off, the L.A. sun was shining brightly through the mountains onto my slightly unshaven face. The young limo driver was playing some music that summed up my feelings so well: things in my life were moving forward, I had new love, my career was blossoming, true happiness was just over the horizon. “Say, driver, what’s that tune you’re playing on the tape deck?” I asked. “Oh, this?” he said, “this is The 88’s new album, Not Only…But Also (Island Records)”. “Wow” was all I could get out.

Even if you’ve never heard of The 88, I’m nearly positive you’ve heard them. Their music has been featured on the TV shows Laguna Beach, The OC, Grey’s Anatomy, Weeds, and One Tree Hill. They can also be heard on commercials for Sears, Target, and Direct TV. They paid for the recording of their new album with the money they’ve made licensing their songs.

Their sound is bright and catchy, and sounds very much like it comes from L.A. There is a lot of crash cymbal and keyboard. Keith Slettedahl, the lead singer, sounds like a mix of Marc Bolan, from 70’s glam band T-Rex, Julian Casablancas, from The Strokes, and James Blunt. Some of the songs are quite fast and forward moving (eg “Go Go Go”), while others are quite slow and stationary (eg “No One Here”) In my mind, The 88 is what plays in the elevators and supermarkets in L.A. The best songs on the album are the ones that don’t aspire to be anything more than plain catchy and happy.

The songs on Not Only…But Also have as much depth as songs that are used in so many commercials and TV shows should. Some of the songs are fun to listen to because they are so upbeat and catchy. However, The 88 don’t really go beyond that simple, TV advertisement sound. If you’re looking for a song to listen to every few weeks to improve your mood, I would recommend Not Only…But Also. However, if you’re looking for an album with real depth, I would not recommend. Not Only…But Also. Overall, I give this album 3 stars.