Dance-pop-rock darlings Boys Like Girls came onto the scene over 2.5 years ago after slowly smoldering on the sidelines. With a small record label budget and a DIY attitude, BLG was one of the great stories to come out of 2007/2008, when the tweens and TRL finally picked up on the working class-routed Boston quartet (even though there album was met with lukewarm reception in the summer of 2006).
Their self-titled debut eventually went has moved over 600,000+ copies to date, thanks to extensive touring and a worthy track-to-track "Soundtrack of the Summer" quality of the record, but was there any indication that these Nor'Eastern dudes had any staying power?
It's cliche to say "A debut takes a lifetime to write. A lifetime of memories, breakups, heartbreaks, etc. That second album? What is there to write about but good times, money and girls?" And yeah sure....BLG was a product of style and genre placement, a cross between Glamour Kills, Hot Topic and Fall Out Boy, something to make the kids dance and sing (but not too hard or loud), just pure power-pop. Producer Matt Squire probably didn't do much help, as he is known to basically just make the music himself and look how well that has turned out for media-darlings Panic! at the Disco.
Basically, BLG got received a ton of cash to make this album, and who knows, with all the touring and corporate tie-ins and commitments they have had to make over the past few years, things might have gotten a little hectic in ol' lead singer Martin's head. Lyrics and innuendo's like "Top down in the summer sun/The day we met was like a hit and run/And I still taste it on my tongue" just won't get it done in the big scheme of things, let alone The Edge wants hit opening riff back and Taking Back Sunday and All Time Low already did the chants with "Sink Into Me" and "Weightless" (again, a Matt Squire productions). (Don't even get me started about the "NaNaNas" at the end, completely pointless.)
With all that said, Martin and the boys still have that knack for blending in simple and subtle electronics into their work, which stands them apart from their peers in using it so well without being overdone. Martin's high notes are a little overdone on the chorus (no doubt he will have a cold when touring, like he did for two years because he can't hit them) and again, the lyrics go from trying to please 12-year old Hot Topic chicks to possibly passing as mature:
"I used to be love drunk/But now I'm hungover....We used to kiss all night/Now it's just a barfight" So that's what they call fucking these days?
It's passable emo at best, but when BLG want to be playing like their lives depended on it (like on their amazing debut). The inter-wove stories of growing up and breaking up mixed with sometimes dark, moody and intense and uplifiting music, and now I guess, well they're stuck on rollercoasters love drunk.
LOP Track Grade: 5.6