‘2.5’ brings the spotlight back to ‘88GLAM

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     On April 12, Derek Wise and 88 Camino, better known together as 88GLAM, dropped “88GLAM 2.5,” a rerelease of their album from November, “88GLAM 2,” with two additional tracks. In recent months, their close work with XO Records has allowed them to capitalize on the massive success they’ve made in the past two years alone. With 128 peak chart positions (not including “88Glam 2.5”), 88 Glam has grown in a fashion similar to an acquired taste, like black coffee: initially a little rough and dissuading, but wholly vital and gratifying as the weeks go by.

     Music by  88 GLAM follows their fast lives in Toronto and on tour. “88GLAM 2.5” commences with “Purple Baguettes,” a reference to baguette diamond cuts, rectangular in shape and arranged in a terrace-like fashion. White diamonds, being too typical, are replaced with purple to highlight just how eccentric the duo is.

     The instrumental highlights this by powering through and opening a bridge from an atypically delicate intro and into the quick lifestyle 88 GLAM lives, including getting accustomed to the celebrity treatment when stopping at designer stores, Skydweller watches because they’re never home and cars with Ghost lights. Derek Wise’s vocals and lead in the melody give the track a sense of an inhale while 88 Camino’s high powered autotune gives the exhale. This features their ability and comfort to work efficiently with each other, as neither artist overpowers the other in terms of substance or effort.

     Following “Purple Baguettes,” “Snow Globe (Remix)” is one of the two additional tracks added to the existing list and features XO signee, Nav. The track also ironically samples “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, a polarizing jump on the musical spectrum for the trio. 88 Camino opens up the track with the chorus and wastes no time for intros, jumping into how his “neck looks like a snow globe,” from how lustrous his jewelry is. Under his voice, tension builds in the beat and then it abruptly interrupts; but in a manner that allows 88 Camino’s vocals to morph and blend into the first verse.

     88 Camino leads into the plethora of persistent pride issues he’s encountered and uses the line “I need a shrink, got too big for myself,” as a center of gravity for the track. Nav joins the track and adds to the recognition of the immoral lifestyles they lead. Derek Wise holds out until the third verse with a short but significant appearance in which he throws lyrics about how all the money has him numb and how it isn’t sane to him to hold onto feelings.

     Track five, “Kitchen Witch,” is one of the pinnacles in energy as the first five seconds play as a low interlude then maximizes itself into an explosion of bass and 88 Camino’s voice. The energy remains prominent with the three-minute track as Wise and Camino collapse into each other sonically over several verses and this places a focal point on their newfound comfort in their style and understanding of their personal strengths. Camino begins the chorus, striking like lightning with his auto-tuned articulation while Wise stomps out the rest with his thunderous counterpart.

     The 16 track album also includes a feature from Lil Yatchy in “Lil Boat,” in addition to the track list released in November. While 88GLAM has reached stardom in a relatively short time, they can grow into their personalities much more. Their highest points lie in their unique articulation, balance, and production.

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