The universe of electronic dance music is daunting enough to wade through even if the listener is familiar with the genre. Especially today, EDM seems to have set itself as a prevalent genre–a force to indeed be reckoned with, for lack of any better cliche. Music festivals, if not setting aside a whole day for the scene, continue to fill setlists with electronic dance music and its popularity is still rising. Appeasing a electro-lover is no easy feat, however. Like with any taste, those who are preferential will let you know damn well who is talented and who is a cheap hack. I cannot sit here and tell you who is who as I have little exposure to the electronic scene on whole. But I like to think I have a good ear. With that said, as a music reviewer, I can firmly state that avid EDM fan and plain-jane music fan alike–pretending for the time being that such simple groups can be realistically distilled–can equally find something to enjoy in this Joywave album, 88888.
It is an overall balanced collection of tunes. Yes, the album would most simply be categorized as electronic dance music seemingly because it utilizes jumpy synth beats, danceable wompy samples, and a high energy palate. But on deeper level, behind the guise of the apparent, 88888 proves to be a distinguished piece of musical creation. The group of musicians that is Joywave is various and it seems they all have creative influence. Eclectic and eccentric, the album renders a cornucopia of musical timbres including hip-hop, rock overhaul, pop undertones, electronic overlay, and energy to boot. It is without a doubt an album with multiple personalities.
That said, 88888 exists as a catch-all collection for any pop music lover. It indeed covers all the bases of the types of good music out there and the likes of Joywave could be easily brought up in any genuine music conversation. Now, if you were to ask me if this album achieves as much notoriety as it does variety, my answer for you would be no. However, although it is neither a classic album nor an album that is entirely a unique experience, 88888 remains a kick-ass collection of very genuine tracks.