It might sound like a paradox, but it’s true. Great pop is both ephemeral and indelible. It’s designed to score fleeting pleasures: a dance, a summer night, youth itself. Really good pop records don’t insist on their importance, and they don’t overstay their welcome. As long as the listener has a good time, they don’t mind if they’re forgotten.
Only they never are. Pop hits are some of the sturdiest things in American culture — once you hear a great one, you may still be humming it decades later. Consider, for example, the catalog of Los Angeles, CA quartet 98º. No music fan who was alive at the turn of the millennium will ever forget the chorus to “The Hardest Thing,” the platinum-selling “Because of You,” the Latin-inflected “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche),” or the gorgeous Mariah Carey collaboration “Thank God I Found You.” Those songs are part of the story of pop and will always be. Amazingly, the 98º album sides were just as good as the world-famous singles. Their full-lengths are a testament to their commitment to quality and their refusal to release anything that couldn’t score a scene in a perfect summer movie.
About “Where Do You Wanna Go”
Decades have indeed gone by since the 98º And Rising album took the world by storm. As their latest single, “Where Do You Wanna Go,” demonstrates, they haven’t lost any of their knack for minting top-drawer pop songs. Here’s everything you remember: irresistible hooks, sunny-day optimism and immediacy, tight harmonies, danceable beats, and an instantly winning lead vocal performance from the ever-youthful Nick Lachey. Yet this track is no mere throwback. They’ve managed to preserve the distinctive elements of the 98º sound while matching the melody to sleek, propulsive contemporary production.
About the video
Call it a trick of time travel if you like; they won’t mind. 98º know that longevity is a rare thing in pop, and they’re as amazed as anybody that they’re still here, still making music at the highest level possible, and still driving pop fans to delirium. The playful video for “Where Do You Wanna Go” finds the four members of 98º engaged in their own trip between eras, adopting their old personas (and some of their old clothing) while driving in an open-topped car under the bright California sun. They’re not so self-serious that they can’t poke fun at who they are and who they were — but the ecstatic reactions of fans who recognize them feel absolutely real.