Boys Like Girls – Boys Like Girls
Record Label: Columbia Records
Release Date: August 22nd, 2006
When I was 15, I used to be into a lot of Fueled By Ramen bands, such as Paramore, Fall Out Boy, The Cab, Cute Is What We Aim For, and Cobra Starship, just to name a few. I know, I know, Boys Like Girls wasn’t signed to FBR, but they definitely had that “sound.” They were a very straightforward pop-rock band with heavy emphasis on were. Their last couple records have been a complete 180 on their self-titled debut record. Regardless, I was heavily into the song “Thunder” after a friend of mine showed it to me back about four years ago. I was in love with it, and I came across it again a few weeks ago. Ironically, I noticed the self-titled at Best Buy for $4.99, so I decided to pick up a copy, since I loved the song “Thunder.” I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the rest of the record, but I definitely did. It’s quite easy to see why people were buzzing about this band when this record was released, because they could’ve been the next Fall Out Boy. By that, I mean they could’ve been huge. They already are rather huge, but nowhere near Fall Out Boy ‘s status, sadly. Despite that, this record is wonderful in plenty of ways. While it’s a straightforward pop-rock/powerpop record, it hits SO well. It does exactly what you want a pop-rock to – vocalist Martin Johnson has a very unique voice, and because of that, the choruses of the songs are massive and are insanely catchy along with the instrumentation from the rest of the band as well. Everything works so well together and that makes for a very wonderful 45 minutes.
The record opens with “The Great Escape,” and opening tracks are very important to me, because they can either make me very excited for a record or be very skeptical. This one does the former, thankfully; the chorus is massive and it gives me a great impression as well excitement for what’s to come. The thing that plagues this record is the fact that it’s quite straightforward, so there aren’t too many twists and turns. You know what you’re getting, essentially. It’s not a bad thing if you’re really into this kind of music, but I crave something more. For what it is, it’s great, and there are some tracks that do really stand out. One of those tracks is third track “Hero / Heroine.” This is one of the most popular songs from the record, and in fact, it was released twice as a single -- once in 2006, and again in 2007. This is one of the best songs from the record and one of my favorites. Fifth track “Thunder” is my favorite track, as I mentioned earlier, and this is a song that elicits plenty of emotions and memories for me. This is definitely a “summer” song and it’s great to just listen to during the summer months and blast it from your car stereo while driving around with friends. It’s great. Everything I love about the band and the record is apparent here; Martin’s vocals are top notch, the chorus is massive and memorable, and the lyrics are very refreshing and nice. On the flip side, next track “On Top of the World” is a rather forgettable track, in all honesty. It’s not an awful track, but it’s a very straightforward pop-rock song and nothing more. It sounds like all the other tracks I’ve heard so far, and that’s what plagues this album as I mentioned earlier.
After “Thunder,” the record does succumb to being rather mediocre or brilliant at times. It’s either one of the two, really. Next track “Me, You, and My Medication” starts off with a really cool synth riff, but gets rather generic afterwards. It’s not awful, but just blends into the other songs. Eighth track “Dance Hall Drug” is another song that I absolutely love, however; this follows the same formula as “Thunder,” in the sense that it’s a great song. It encompasses everything that’s great about the band. The same goes for tenth track “Heels Over Head,” and really, the record has two different kinds of songs on it: pop-rock songs that just kind of blend together and the ones that do stand out, like “Thunder” for instance. The last two tracks, however, are vastly different. “Broken Man” is a very somber song that’s rather self-loathing and it’s quite interesting, because it is a slower song, and the same goes for last track “Holiday.” This is the main “standout” track, because it’s a lot slower, and about five minutes. It’s long, but enjoyable. I will admit that it drags on a bit, but it’s still a good track and closes out on the album on a very optimistic note. This song is a lot happier than “Broken Man,” and judging by the titles, one could assume that.
Once the album ends, it leaves me with a good taste in my mouth, in all honesty; while it’s nothing introspective, it’s a great dose of pop-rock/power-pop with catchy choruses and very relatable lyrics. I can definitely find myself going back to this record if I’m in the mood for catchy pop-rock, but this isn’t a record that I will be regarding years into the future as being my favorite record of all time. Regardless, this record is one worth listening to if you’ve listened to any bands on Fueled By Ramen.