Review Summary: Boys Like Girls get even worse.
It's no secret that pop-punk isn't a genre that requires a gratuitous amount of talent or skill to execute "well". Thousands upon thousands of pop-punk bands execute the genre perfectly (most of them still in high school). They exercise cliches to the nth degree and craft catchy, redundant anthems for pre-pubescent rebels -- all these up and coming bands constructing melodically pleasing pop-punk music sounds dandy and harmless until you realize that "perfect" pop-punk is bad
. It may be sonically sound and smooth around the edges, but let's face it: pop-punk is home to some of the most blatantly rehashed abominations known to music; albums that unabashedly celebrate immaturity and musical reiteration. The few bands that have laudably produced good
pop-punk - such as Anberlin, Paramore, and to a lesser extent, Mae and The Classic Crime - are bands that do things a little bit differently; bands that inject a wider array of influences and a personal
touch into their music. Boys Like Girls are not
one of those bands. They are instead a group that falls to the bottom of the proverbial pop-punk barrel with the likes of Hawk Nelson and Hello Operator; bands that gorge excitedly on the dregs of other's successes like parasitic bottom-feeders. Hungry for mainstream success and infatuated with the idea of doing absolutely nothing interesting for the rest of their sorry careers, Boys Like Girls have gotten remarkably worse.
is lyrically situated in the angst-ridden wastelands of teenage heartbreak (target market: predictable). From the glitchy vocals that open 'Heart Heart Heartbreak' to the faux-strings that close the all too long six-minute closer 'Go' to the giant red heart plastered atop the vibrant album artwork, the entire album is centered around relationships (or lack thereof). This "concept" in itself isn't the problem, no, it's the fact that the entire band plays without any diction or sincerity in the slightest. Love Drunk
just sounds fake
. By refusing to instrumentally do anything out of the ordinary (or anything interesting), each song is a mundane drawl that lulls and bores the listener to the point of irritation. Is the band at least enjoying themselves? Well, no: it essentially sounds as if the band didn't even want to record the album.
Perhaps the funniest thing about Boys Like Girls' sophomore record Love Drunk
is that it's actually a legitimate regression from the band's self-titled debut. Love Drunk
's predecessor wasn't abhorrent by any means, it was just boring, uninspired and pretty darn cheesy. Love Drunk
takes everything that made their debut mediocre and amplifies it to new unlistenable heights. In order to 'develop' (devolve), Boys Like Girls have employed the likes of aerobics music (Real Thing), campy vocal effects (Heart Heart Heartbreak), grating Auto-Tune (every song) and a guest vocal spot from pop-starlet Taylor Swift (which ironically happens to be the best part of the album; problematic to say the least). Rushed vocal delivery fails to compliment the purely puerile lyrics ("We used to kiss all night/Now it's just a bar fight/So don't call me crying!
"), vocalist Martin Johnson's Patrick Stump impression is laughable (even under the countless layers of studio sheen and Auto-Tune) and the entire band plays like the haphazard lovechild of early-Jonezetta and Hawk Nelson (except worse).
Ultimately, Love Drunk
isn't a colossal disappointment (nobody expected any better); it's just really, really
bad. It will bore you, it will make you cringe and most importantly, it will force you to listen to something else. Thank Boys Like Girls for stressing the importance of creativity in modern music -- then forget Love Drunk