Picks and Pans Review: The Madding Crowd

UPDATED 08/28/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/28/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

Nine Days (Epic)

Album of the week

This is the story of a band whose debut single, "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)," has become the sleeper hit of the summer. With its chunky hooks and irresistible, sing-along, stop-and-start chorus ("And while she looks so sad in photographs/I absolutely love her/when she smiles"), the song has sparked buzz about an obscure non-boy band from Long Island.

Five guys with no use for wardrobe consultants or choreographers, Nine Days boasts two highly talented singer-songwriter-guitarists. John Hampson, 28, author of "Absolutely" (as well as the group's second single, "If I Am," a catchy but more pedestrian, Oasis-like power ballad), shares co-frontman duties with fellow auteur Brian Desveaux, 29, who wrote "Bob Dylan," an homage that dares to sample the master's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." With a literate muse and an added layer of sound provided by Jeremy Dean's Hammond organ, Nine Days looks to be around a good deal longer.

Bottom Line: Absolutely (Fabulous)

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