98 Degrees This Christmas (Universal)

Xmas Records

98 Degrees

This Christmas (Universal)

Christmas doesn't get much whiter than this, an album of excessively harmonic holiday gratings from the RC Cola of boy bands, 98 Degrees. Discovered while singing outside a Boys II Men concert, this Ohio foursome has ridden the coattails of better, more charismatic boy bands to the triple platinum success of 98 Degrees and Rising. While shamelessly sentimental hits like "The Hardest Thing" at least had some snap, This Christmas finds the foursome trading in their already questionable charm for more sap than a forest full of evergreens. The insult of such painfully canned versions of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Silent Night," and "Little Drummer Boy" cannot be overstated, and even the blessedly snappy midway point, "The Gift," is no salve. With no dance skills, no ability to play instruments, and only marginal good looks, 98 Degrees could at least provide some spine-tingling harmonies. But even here, they fall short -- the bass line of "The Christmas Song" sounds like an extended belch. After a two-year reign on the Top 40 airwaves and young girls' wallets, boy bands may be on their way out -- if only because it really can't get worse than this. It may be the end of the boy bands as we know it. Betcha feel fine.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Review: Tearjerk, <i>Face to Face</i>
Review: Tearjerk, Face to Face
Face to Face (Record Review)

Kriss Conklin, May 12, 2023

Album Review: The Stacks
Album Review: The Stacks
Lay Me Down to Rest (Record Review)

Mars Salazar, Feb. 17, 2023

More by Sarah Hepola
What if you remade a Hollywood blockbuster in your mom's basement?

March 13, 2015

Hollywood Is Calling
Hollywood Is Calling
Celebrities on Your Cell

Aug. 15, 2003

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle