Times Two


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California-based duo Times Two scored in 1988 with the Top 40 hit "Strange but True," an endearing piece of pop bubblegum tailor-made for radio. Members Shanti Jones and Johnny Dollar were a photogenic pair, and their approach to music was not unlike more successful '80s relics such as Wham and New Kids on the Block: disposable pop fluff, heavy on the hooks, light on the substance. Not surprisingly, Times Two didn't stay around for long, and "Strange but True" was the duo's only hit.

The debut release X2 offers several rewrites of the hit single. Songs such as "Romeo" and "3 Into 2 (Don't Go)" have their share of goofy charm, but the lyrics are nothing more than tedious statements of romantic longing designed to make teenage girls swoon. What's worse, Times Two had the nerve to cover the Simon and Garfunkel classic "Cecilia," which truly shows off the band's vocal limitations and proved to be a not-so-worthy follow-up to "Strange but True," failing to make the U.S. Top 40. (Paul Simon actually provided backing vocals on "Cecilia," for reasons probably known only to him.)

Perhaps deservedly so, Times Two was cursed with one-hit wonder status. Dollar and Jones released one more EP before disbanding. Johnny Dollar eventually emerged as a successful producer, most notably on Neneh Cherry's critically acclaimed 1992 release Homebrew.