Sound — 4
There was a time, not so long ago, when Boys Like Girls played guitars. They wrote big sugary hits but clung onto the 'powerpop' pretence for dear life and stuck some crunch behind it. It seemed to be going well for them, but they must be really tired of being on the end of the sentence that starts 'My favourite band's All Time Low, but I also like...' because with "Crazy World" they've struck out as a proper, bona fide boyband, necklaces and all. It's an interesting move. They've dropped the tempos and cut the distortion but you can see the potential for a homogenous hit machine in these guys. They're good-looking, reliable for an earworm and main man Martin Johnson who's worked on hits for a number of other stars wrote the whole thing. His songs are irritatingly effective; whatever the pretence tracks like "Life Of The Party" and "Crazy World" are silky sweet enough to be hummed at idle moments. Even the really half-baked stuff like "Leaving California", which is rent-a-ballad down to the last piano twinkle, has a little something to the tune. The issue is that without the illusion of being 'pop-punkers', the band and their music are highly likely to drop to the middle of the pack against established pop giants and fade into obscurity.
Lyrics — 3
Remember, though, this is a group whose biggest hit is built on the refrain "I used to be love drunk/but now I'm hungover/I love you forever/forever is over!" What we can deduce from the lyrics here is that most boys do indeed like girls, but even glistening, handsome popstars have a few problems along the way. Mr Johnson wants to be taken home on "Take Me Home", wants to be her everything on "Be Your Everything" but ends up getting cheated on "Cheated". Poor guy. All that needs to be said is that "Crazy World" is, almost without exception, about relationships and their associated clichs, and as such probably won't be of too much interest to the UG clientele.
Overall Impression — 2
Bland, inoffensive and unbearably shiny; this is a boyband album for a boyband audience, but there was another direction for Boys Like Girls. Compare and contrast with the last Fall Out Boy album before their hiatus smart, infectious pop which integrated the guitar band when needed and pushed it back when not. This is dumb, infectious pop which isn't worth getting stuck in your head. Ignoring the wider world and speaking only to UG readers: don't waste your time because you won't like this.