the Buzz for September 9th, 2010


LFO — “Every Other Time” (from Life is Good) — Every

Please understand that, ordinarily, it would not have been my preference to go with boy band tuneage twice in three days. But even though he hadn’t even been heard from in eons, I found myself strangely crushed last night when I read of the tragic passing of Rich Cronin, who died at a way-too-effin’-young thirty-five years of age yesterday after a protracted battle with leukemia. Cronin was the (painfully gorgeous) lead singer of LFO, a late-’90s pre-fabricated group of buff dudes who could harmonize and whose primary reason for existing was to cash in on the already-waning teen pop craze. (If *NSYNC was Coke and 98 Degrees was Pepsi, then LFO was, at very least, Shasta.) Cronin was also the physical manifestation of whichever behind-the-scenes ghostwriter insisted that the phrases “New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits” and “Chinese food makes me sick!” must rhyme. In other words, it is quite true that nobody was ever gonna confuse this kid with Dylan or Springsteen (or even Daryl Hall!). But he was magnificently easy on the eyes, and he had the craziest knack for bringing to life perfectly ridiculous pop tunes — like “Time,” a miraculously melodic chronicle of the up-and-down intricacies of young lust love — which were deviously digestible and hauntingly hummable.