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2.0

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Album Review

It's been well over a decade since 98° had an album, a decade that let the band disappear from the spotlight and ease back into it without any observer being upset by their resurgence. Only Nick Lachey wound up establishing himself outside of the group, thanks in large part to his marriage to Jessica Simpson — he was briefly subsumed by the relationship but, once it ended, he wound up as an affable, self-deprecating celebrity presence — and most remember the band's existence more than their hits. The 2013 reunion album 2.0 doesn't really change this situation. Certainly, it nods at contemporary trends, just enough so this doesn't wind up as needless nostalgia, but it splits the difference between fads and old-fashioned pop, happy to integrate nagging melodies, ingratiating rhythms, and slightly persistent hooks. Unlike the two recent post-reunion New Kids on the Block albums, which alternated between hardcore R&B and sticky sweet adult contemporary, this album walks the tightrope of nostalgia and modernity, a record that may (but may not) appeal to thirtysomethings and teens alike. The great knock against 2.0 is that there's nothing that's undeniable, no song that sucks skeptics into its vortex, but it's ingratiating in its low-key charms, never asking for attention but rather expecting the admiration of anybody who pays attention. And they're right — if you take the time to listen to 2.0, you'll enjoy it, because the band works it hard, never pushing boundaries but never resting on their laurels, either.

Customer Reviews

Just bad

I know I'm about to sound like a serious hater here, but let me just point out the fact that I LOVED 98 Degrees in the 90s and early 2000s. I didn't expect this album to sound exactly like their music from back in the day as I understand that musicians grow and change, but good lord this album is terrible. It sounds very trendy and over-produced. It sounds just like all the other garbage music out there that's digitized and auto-tuned and I can't begin to express the amount of disappointment I feel in them. I know that they're all better musicians than this and I can't wrap my mind around how and why they released this drivel. I'm still a fan of these guys, I'll just be listening to their older stuff that's actually good.

Not so much

I've been a fan of these guys since the 90's. I know every past song by heart and support these guys in every way. This album didn't do it for me.

The sound is terrible. The beats are terrible. The harmony is bad. I don't think I liked one song.

I'm not trying to hate here, trust me, I LOVE THESE GUYS!! But nothing beats the sound of the good ol 98 degree sound.

Loving it!

I am loving all the different sounds in the songs. The guys sound amazing. Love when Jeff hits those high notes! Chills :)

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 after attracting...
Full Bio
2.0, 98°
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