The first of the batch to top the charts--on the Mariah Carey/Joe
collaboration "Thank God I Found You"--98 Degrees has
always been among the more soulful of the flock.
fall, expect an onslaught of returns from major music acts--especially
those on the teen scene. With 98 Degrees releasing their latest last
week, the barrage started. Timed almost perfectly with that are new
tracks from Ricky Martin--who started the Latin movement discussed
last week--and The Spice Girls. In each case, the result has been
less than impressive.
to their most recent, and most blatant rip-off, 98 Degrees ranked
among the more tolerable of the boy bands currently flooding
more, however. Their current single, "Give Me Just One Night
(Una Noche)" has taken them beyond the "'N Sync-wannabes"
label and placed them in all new, and even less desirable,
territory. They are now visibly milking the Latin music craze like no
other. Featuring only two Spanish words throughout--the title
"Una Noche"--this annoying, repetitive, and saccharine tune
should be buried instantly. Sadly, reports are that nothing on the
disc is any more worthy of airplay. It could leave some radio
listeners in the unenviable position of actually praying for the
November release of the new Backstreet Boys CD!
true Latin breakthrough artist Ricky Martin pushed his new single
"She Bangs" with an Internet exclusive. In conjunction with
America Online (AOL), Martin previewed the lead-off single from his
upcoming set online, which jump-started the track at radio. Last week
"She Bangs" made an impressive entrance in the Top 40 of
"Billboard's Hot 100" and garnered "Hot Shot
Debut" honors. While not necessarily a "bad" cut, it
strikes the listener as instantly familiar--and with good reason.
Martin seems all-too-comfortable revisiting his breakthrough #1
"Livin' La Vida Loca." While most artists opt for growth,
Martin and crew hedge their bets on the first single from his
forthcoming disc. The Latin sensation is likely to rocket up the
charts, but is apt to disappear just as quickly. "Vida
Loca"-lite can only take him so far.
The Spice Girls are readying their full-length set (titled
"Forever") to show the world that there is life after
Ginger. With "Holler," the group that arguably started the
whole teen movement with their 1997 #1 smash "Wannabe" is
Producer-of-the-Moment Rodney Jerkins--who has crafted smashes for
Destiny's Child, Toni Braxton and Mya in recent
months--"Holler" shows a more urban influence than previous
Spice Girl outings. Each girl has foregone a solo career to take
turns on this watered-down hip-hop number from across the Pond.
of the Girls' recent solo efforts, most notably Melanie C's
house-influenced "I Turn to You," have been better than
this. If the disc is going to prove its point, the supporting tracks
had better be stronger than what we've been given thus far.
true British R&B with outstanding Jerkins-influenced production,
skip The Spice Girls and pick up Shola Ama's "Imagine."
This is a track that should be firing up radios well into the
winter--and Shola is hot enough to warm even the darkest, snowiest night.
here to purchase 98
CD from Amazon.com
purchase Ricky Martin's CD from Amazon.com
purchase the Spice Girls' CD from Amazon.com
purchase Shola's CD from Amazon.com