Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Pop Music | Record Rack

* 1/2 98 Degrees, "Revelation," Universal

September 24, 2000|NATALIE NICHOLS

The latest thing with multimillion-selling teen-oriented acts such as this L.A.-based quartet of Ohioans is emphasizing that they are bona-fide artists, not just pretty young people dancing, posing and singing other people's songs.

Not that there's anything wrong with singing other people's songs--look what it did for Elvis Presley. But although they exude a clean-cut, heartland hunkiness vaguely akin to the King's, Nick and Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre apparently don't want to skate on mere sex appeal and mellifluous harmonizing. The singers have had songwriting credits on two previous collections, but on their new one (due Tuesday), they participated in 11 of 13 tracks.

It's not as if you can tell. Mired in production bombast, they hardly sound human, let alone in touch with the feelings poured out in such gooey ballads as "My Everything," the song most likely to star in fans' daydreams of a private serenade. But at least the sensitive-guy stuff is in character. Far clunkier are such attempts to "diversify" the group's sound as the upbeat, trendily Latin-flavored single "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)" and the hip-hop-tinged, electro-funk come-on "Dizzy."

Game as it is to execute an array of watered-down pop styles, 98 Degrees come off not versatile or musically sophisticated, but more like a group that can't decide which fad to exploit next.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|