Recording information: Swing House Recording, Hollywood, CA; The Ox, North Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Chapman Baehler.
Magic! scored one of 2014's biggest mid-year singles with "Rude," a bouncy piece of blue-eyed reggae-pop that drew comparisons to '90s hitmakers like the Spin Doctors, Smash Mouth, and Sublime. However, the band didn't really resemble anyone else on the radio at the time of "Rude"'s release; considering that frontman Nasri was also once a part of the production team the Messengers, who wrote songs for pop stars ranging from Justin Bieber to Pitbull, it's not surprising that Magic! managed to craft a sound that was unique enough to get noticed and catchy enough to get hugely popular. On their full-length debut Don't Kill the Magic, Nasri and company expand on their hit's summery vibe. Though nothing else on the album has quite as much of "Rude"'s good-natured, slightly goofy charm, they fare best on uptempo fare like "No Evil," "Stupid Me" and the soaring title track, all of which sound just as chart-friendly as their big hit without rehashing it too much. ~ Heather Phares