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Picks and Pans Review: Middle of Nowhere

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Hanson

By now, only the seriously age-impaired are unaware of the adorable brothers Hanson. Hailing from Tulsa, elderly Isaac, 16, beautiful prehunk Taylor, 14, and hypergiddy Zac, 11, have scampered to the top of the pop planet thanks to “MMMBop,” their nonsensically catchy No. 1 radio and MTV hit. The boys have a knack for bright and bouncy teeny-bop fare, which they smartly deck out with jangling guitars and stair-step harmonies that recall the Jackson 5. The Hansons actually play instruments and write songs, which gives them a credibility that, say, Spice Girls will never have. Not all their tunes have the snap of first-rate bubblegum. But who’s quibbling? Since Nowhere is everywhere these days, why not enjoy it? (Mercury)