CD Review of Boys Like Girls by Boys Like Girls

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Boys Like Girls
starno starno starno starno star Label: Red Ink
Released: 2006
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Who is supposed to like Boys Like Girls?

Teenage boys will probably avoid their three-part melodies and overly sentimental bullshit lyrics. And the vacant teeny-bopper girls that might fall for this crap are already entranced by Panic! At The Disco, Dashboard Confessional and the All-American Rejects. Stupid drunk girls and the walking erections that try to date-rape them might sing along to their song if it’s playing at a club, but even they would probably have to be pretty hammered not to realize that these 12 tracks of banal BS sound like weaker versions of every other alt-pop turd that emo bands have been dropping into the toilet that is the popular music scene for the past few years. And while I’m sure Boys Like Girls consider themselves ‘indie,’ no self-respecting hipster snob would blow the money they were saving to buy converse sneakers and ironic t-shirts to buy something so obviously poppy and insipid as this self-titled debut. The only people that might find Boys Like Girls entertaining and enthralling enough to buy their album are those girls that cut themselves after being taken out of their friend’s top 8 on MySpace. But only if they haven’t already become obsessed with Hawthorne Heights or whatever current band is currently whoring themselves out on the social networking site.

Boys Like Girls have made an amazing accomplishment, recording 12 “emo” songs that are completely devoid of all emotion. Emo is short for emotional, right? Then how is it possible that Boys Like Girls can’t even manage to convey the simplest of emotions on this album? Love songs like “The Great Escape” and “Hero/Heroine” pack the emotional wallop of a love-note written by a 7th grader that hasn’t even had his first wet dream yet. They can’t even get the negative feelings down; “Learning to Fall,” which is supposedly about “the worst day of my life,” sounds about as depressing as an the theme song to “Duck Tales.”

Say what you will about bands other bands of their ilk, such as Dashboard Confessional or Fall Out Boy, but they do actually sing their stupid pop songs with some sort of emotion. When that little twat from Dashboard Confessional bemoans about his girlfriend’s “hair being everywhere” in “Screaming Infidelity” you can almost feel for him (that’s a big almost.) But when Boys Like Girls’ lead singer Martin Johnson whines about “Me, You and My Medication,” you seriously doubt that he’s never had to take any meds more powerful than Tylenol. He goes on to whine – I mean sing – about a mysterious “Dance Hall Drug” later on, but it’s probably not ecstasy. Hell, it’s probably not even Red Bull.

Not only is each song on this miserable excuse for a pop record crap, it’s not even catchy crap. They are all instantly forgettable, and by the time one piece of tripe ends and another begins, you’ll already have forgotten it. You might even get other songs stuck in your head as the meaningless lyrics and bland music slowly fade into the background, becoming overpowered by other, catchier sounds around you, like the leaky faucet, your rattling air conditioner or that noise your neck makes when you turn to your left.

In “Broken Man”, Martin bellows “I will learn to love again” before the song finally ends. I hope not, because that might give him something else to write about.

~James B. Eldred