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Crazy World LP/ Boyslikegirls
(Released December 11, 2012) Columbia

by Ambika Terhanian

When I first heard of Boyslikegirls, I expected a braces-clad, preteen boy band singing about cooties and ponytails. Yet, I get a pack of grown men living vicariously through 12-year-old boys. You could say I was a bit surprised. What I don’t get is the rockstar get-up. It is not frowned upon to be grown men and still sing sugar pop. Take the Backstreet Boys, for instance. Why hide behind the pop punk charade? They should embrace their true calling as the new 98 degrees; just ditch the country pop instrumentals that the album is riddled with.

My best piece of advice would be to PG the lyrics and omit serious-subjected songs like “Cheated” and “Take Me Home.” This means Martin Johnson will have to refrain from all references to alcohol and start pepping up bummer songs like “Leaving California,” which proclaims he painted black a picture of his girlfriend. With these instructions, the true target they are after – the underage girl market – will surely be properly reached.

Because they made the mistake of dubbing themselves a “rock” band, I am going to comment on this LP under the pretense Boyslikegirls are a “rock” band. As such, this is an utter disappointment. Fans of Maroon 5, OneRepublic, and All-American Rejects might find Crazy World as a guilty pleasure.  It’s too bad they went a Kenny Chesney direction of mainstream music since now they’ve alienated their peer group. It’s like combining the two worst conventional genres and creating an extra compromising universal crowd pleaser.

This release features radio-friendly synthesizer programming, over-produced percussion, and neo-alt-rock guitar riffs. Good thing they are signed to Columbia Records because somebody’s has to pay for all the MicroKorgs used in this endeavor. The engineering utilizes pianos, organs, even mandolins, and yet still manages to make every song sound the same. No track is impressive, and the only reason “Life of the Party” did well as a single is because it mimics AAR’s “Gives You Hell,” recycling a clap beat and cheery chant.

A little credit can be given to a better written song, “The First Time.” It is in the mood of Gwen Stefani’s nostalgic “Cool,” where two ex-lovers meet after an extended separation from each other and reminisce on their old romance. The story was cute as it described driving around their small town in a white Cherokee. Possibly the CD’s most mature content, it delves into the reality that Boyslikegirls are in fact fully developed adults and not the teen pop stars they try so hard to be. Take a hint.

http://www.boyslikegirls.com/


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Ambika Terhanian is a UF criminology junior. Besides talking about serial killers and the death penalty, she enjoys punk rock and skateboarding. She began writing music reviews in her DIY ‘zine called “RAWR!” and later “It is What it is” when she was 14. She then wrote for a friend’s webzine, Southern Shed Punk. When she is not listening to music, she is either skateboarding or hanging out at the Krishna House.

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