The fruit of the fourth season of MTV's Making the Band -- the Sean "Diddy" Combs-produced series that has defied all odds and started turning out bands and records that actually sell -- Day26, like their Danity Kane sisters, seem strangely disconnected from modern music on their 2008 debut, Day26. Boy bands like this quintet aren't quite in vogue in 2008, but Making the Band has always strangely sidestepped fashion in favor of perennial music biz formulas that work, and there is no other pop formula quite as sturdy as assembling a vocal group. Despite all the reality TV trappings of Making the Band -- most absurdly how Day26 and Danity Kane were pitted against each other in Making the Band 4 to see which group finished its record first -- the show really does follow the old formula to a T, as Diddy drafted plenty of pros to write and craft tracks for the album. Bryan-Michael Cox is the producer responsible for the majority of the tracks -- even more if the hidden tracks and Target exclusive bonus are taken into account -- but Mario Winans helms two of the more memorable tracks (first single "Got Me Going" and "Co-Star"), with Danja responsible for the sleek "In My Bed" and Malay making an impression with "I'm the Reason" (which nicely echoes Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" and "If It Wasn't for You"). As this is a vocal group album, the emphasis is naturally on the group itself, or at least its vocals, as the members themselves are curiously lacking in charisma for TV stars. Day26 may not have that distinctive of an on-record personality, but they do sound much more at ease than the stiff, labored Danity Kane, which means that they usually just slip into the production (a notable exception being "In My Bed," where their harmonies puncture the mood set by Danja) -- which is kind of for the best, because the one way Day26 is modern is in the sense that it often places the sound above the song. So in that way, Day26 are indeed a vocal group for their time: they serve the production as much as the production serves them.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine