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The 88, ‘Not Only…But Also’ (Island)

A trio of biz-savvy power-pop nerds from L.A., the 88 built a following the 21st-century way — by placing songs in commercials for Target and Sears and TV shows like How I Met Your Mother. On their superslick major-label debut (which features a few tunes produced by R&B maestro Babyface), it’s easy to hear what attracted Hollywood and Madison Avenue: These glammy rave-ups — imagine Mika fronting Maroon 5 — conjure big emotions without getting mired in tawdry realities. For the 88, life’s questions are no more complicated than “Paper or plastic?”