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98º and Rising

98°

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Album Review

Really, 98° is a great idea for a teen-pop band: take an attractive boy band in the vein of Take That or N'Sync and have them sing Boyz II Men crossed with the Backstreet Boys. 98° followed this formula on their eponymous debut and were more or less successful. However, they've mastered the sound on their second record, 98° and Rising. Like any teen-pop with chart aspirations, 98° and Rising is far from a perfect album, as it alternates sure-fire hits with filler cut from the same mold, but that should be expected. What's nice is that songs like "The Hardest Thing" and "True to Your Heart" are well-crafted radio singles, with memorable hooks and excellent production. That same production — which makes the ballads smoove and the dance-pop infectious — carries weaker moments of the record, but at the end of the day, it's the singles that make 98° and Rising entertaining. And for many fans, that will be quite enough indeed.

Biography

Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The sweet urban soul quartet 98° was formed in Los Angeles by four former Ohio residents: brothers Nick and Drew Lachey plus Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre. Timmons was trying to make it in the music industry, so he called Jeffre and Nick Lachey — both former classmates at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Artists — and formed 98°; Drew Lachey soon moved to the West Coast as well. The quartet was working a variety of odd jobs to finance their talent show appearances, but...
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98º and Rising, 98°
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