Sometimes it’s hard to avoid being completely girly, and admiring pictures of nice looking men, which ‘Boys Like Girls’ most certainly are, but I’m not here to indulge in a rock star crush, for starters I’m too old, so I best get on with reviewing this American four piece, and their second album ‘Love Drunk’.
Think classic American rock mixed with Disney’s Camp Rock, layered in amongst pop, folk, and country genres, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the ‘Boys Like Girls’ sound. It’s slick, radio friendly, and hits its target of the teen market with an explosion, which may vibrate out to females of all ages. This is a band that also has the distinct advantage of being able to couple a strong vocal ability with good looks, so I’m sure they have attracted a few boy band style screams during their tours stateside. Their release is a fairly generic mix of ballads, mid tempo tracks, and a fair few up tempo pop/rock tunes.
Unsurprisingly considering their band name, most of the subject matter in the lyrics centres on relationships, using break-ups, and infatuation as common themes. These lyrical themes, and the over produced pop/rock sound does get a little bit samey and Disney like at times in the uptempo numbers, and the strong vocals could be showcased better, but it’s still a formula that manages to draw you in.
The stand out moments for me, are when the music is stripped down more, and the band take on the ballads and mid tempo numbers. The first of these, ‘Two Is Better Than One’, features vocals from Taylor Swift, whose voice blends well with the vocal style of guys. This is a song to sway and sing along to at gigs, and has a well arranged string section which is worth listening out for. Also worth a listen is the slightly country-esque track ‘Go’, which has a strong reflective vibe throughout, and a nice story about taking chances and risks in life. Moving away from the ballads, I would also give credit to ‘Real Thing’ for it’s funky rock intro, and well arranged instrumental towards the end, and ‘Someone Like You’, which is high on melody, and lyrical content, making good use of phrases like ‘life in the rear view’.
There’s lyrical phrases and titles that interested me on this album, from a band that are really excellent singers. There’s also a lot of charm in their ballads, it’s just a little too slick and overdone when it comes to the up-tempo tunes. Put the melody and vocal higher in the mix, and tone down the guitars a bit and those tracks might stand out a little more. Slightly disappointing on this count, but a good band nonetheless.