Released September 2009 by Columbia Records
For most of their second album Love Drunk, Boys Like Girls do not change much from the winning formula of their first collection. The songs are highly melodic and instantly catchy with a punchy attack. The production is buffed to a glossy shine on most of the songs here. If you liked Boys Like Girls the first time around, you will appreciate them even more here.
Where Power Pop Meets Punk Pop
Boys Like Girls have always leaned heavily toward the pop end of punk pop. There are very few ragged edges that could identify this group as punkish. However, a song like "Contagious" does kick off with beats that are not far removed from the classic amphetamine fueled songs of the Ramones. It's just that Boys Like Girls let the song submerge itself in a sweet, poppy chorus. Classic power pop or even the rock end of 80's pop are perhaps better touchstones. "Heart Heart Heartbreak" would not sound out of place in a tape of songs by the Cars.
Missteps Along the Way
There are a few confusing missteps in Love Drunk that pull down the overall album. The slower ballad material feels like it comes from a different place from the rest of the songs and it sounds out of place. The duet with Taylor Swift on "Two Is Better Than One" is a treacly sweet mess which does not reflect well on either Swift or Boys Like Girls. "Someone Like You" kicks off with an arrangement not far removed from hip hop pop and then settles into a dull waltz beat. Both of these songs have more than a hint of contemporary country about them. "Go" is simply a dull attempt at a power ballad with an agonizingly long instrumental fadeout. If these songs represent directions the band may wish to explore more in the future, I suggest they rethink matters.
Top Tracks on Love Drunk
- "Heart Heart Heartbreak"
- "Love Drunk"
- "Chemicals Collide"
A Strong Chapter Two
Love Drunk is a solid chapter two for Boys Like Girls. The title song has been another well deserved pop radio hit for the group. The group's core audience of teenage girls are likely to be happy with the emotional and romantic song lyrics presented in an easy to sing along fashion. The rock arrangements are more muscular than before, and, aside from the points the album slows down, everything is nearly seamless here. It is not easy to see exactly where the band heads for a third album without simply repeating themselves, but, for now, they should happily rest on the quality of Love Drunk which puts them near the top of the pack of groups putting out energetic pop rock songs.