Power pop has come in a wide variety of forms over the years. There was '60s British Invasion power pop (the Beatles, the Kinks), '70s glam power pop (Slade), new wave power pop (Blondie, the Knack, the Go-Go's, the Romantics), punk power pop (the Ramones, the Dickies, Generation X), pop-metal power pop (Kiss, Quiet Riot, Bon Jovi, Sweet), '90s alternative power pop (No Doubt, Oasis, Letters to Cleo, the Cardigans, Veruca Salt, Eve's Plum), and even country power pop (Sweethearts of the Rodeo). And power pop never goes away, which is why the 88 have had a small following in the 2000s and 2010s. Those who have appreciated the Southern Californians' previous albums should have no problem getting into this self-titled 2010 release; the 88 continue to bring the hooks whether they are being influenced by the Kinks, David Bowie, or the Flaming Lips. And they still get their inspiration from different power pop eras; the British Invasion influence remains, as does the glam influence, the alternative influence, and the new wave influence. The 88 never pretended to be groundbreaking, but when it comes to infectious hooks and melodies, they get the job done, and they don't disappoint on "Automatic Brain," "Center of the Sun," or any other tunes on this 36-minute CD. There are no major surprises (not that anyone was expecting any), but if the 88 are fairly predictable, they're predictable in a good way. And anyone who enjoyed Kind of Light in 2003, Over and Over in 2005, or Not Only…But Also in 2008 will find that the 88 aren't any less appealing or any less consistent on this self-titled disc.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson