98 Degrees

With Dream and the Baha Men. Friday, March 30, at the CSU Convocation Center.

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Series 7: The Contenders
It's funny. Of all the boy groups clogging up the radio these days, 98 Degrees is probably the one most likely to kick our ass. These are some pretty buff guys, their muscles as much a draw for their fans as their faces (can't say the same about flabby Backstreeter Nick or the 'N Sync guy with the goofy hair, can you?). Yet it's the wimpiest sounding of the whole pack and doesn't have the ultratight harmonies of the Backstreet Boys or a super-kickin' single like 'N Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" going for it. Its latest album, Revelation, is its fourth and was supposed to push these veterans over the top, making 98 Degrees equals of the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, not their runners-up. The album stiffed, not even coming close to the sales records its contemporaries set. Maybe it had something to do with the bland, overcooked pop soaked in wearisome grooves. Even by contemporary corporate pop music standards, this stuff really sucks. Maybe, just maybe, even the little girls are getting tired of this whole pretty-boy/teen-pop thing. We'll see. Something tells us there will still be plenty of screaming, prepubescent gals filling the Convocation Center this weekend when the languid quartet rolls into town. On the bill with 98 Degrees is Puffy's latest cash-hungry project (gotta stay in the game, now that Bad Boy has lost most of its market share due to dead records, dead artists, and potential prison time for some of its main playas), manufactured girl-group Dream, as well as the Baha Men, who are approaching the 15-minute mark and still woof-woofing their ubiquitous jock anthem. Who let these dogs out?

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