Release Date: Sep 8, 2009
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative
As their hilariously straightforward band name suggests, Boston’s Boys Like Girls have no use for nuance. They’ve broken out of the pop-punk underground not by illuminating the dark corners of young-person romance but by crafting songs that make the rituals of ? teenhood feel like scenes in a Zac Efron movie. Three years after their hit debut, they’re a little older but just as emphatic: ”I’m 23 and invincible!” crows frontman Martin Johnson on ”She’s Got a ? Boyfriend Now,” one of the sprightlier numbers on the uniformly zippy ? Love Drunk.
Boys Like Girls' self-titled debut album was an unexpected success, eventually going gold. Devoid of any hit singles or a truly distinctive sound, the album seemed to catch on because it was a perfect distillation of the emo pop sound with no rough edges to scare people away. For the follow-up, 2009's Love Drunk, the band sticks to the same basic template of super slick, glossily produced emo pop with uptempo songs that sound stadium singalong-friendly and ballads that seem destined to melt teenage girls' hearts.
Girls Girls, the San Francisco duo of Christopher Owens and J R White, arrives with shoulders shrugged, head slightly down. Its debut album, titled “Album” (True Panther Sounds/Matador), is a lean ramble, in no way ostentatious. Knowingly or not, Mr. Owens has the tender brooding of Buddy Holly down cold, with a touch of Elvis Costello’s shakiness in his voice.