Sound — 9
Boys Like Girls made a name for themselves as one of America's most celebrated power pop bands of the new millennium with their self-titled debut release, but their follow up album, Love Drunk, is even more appetizing. With less emphasis on party pop platters and more substance in terms of crunchy guitars and explosive shreds from lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni and lead singer/rhythm guitarist Martin Johnson, Boys Like Girls deliver satisfaction to audiences with a taste for guitar-branded rock. No longer the new kids in power punk, Boys Like Girls have the tight rack-and-pinion steering of Finger Eleven, the growling engines of Three Days Grace, and an underbelly of throbbing rumbles reminiscent of Tantric. Bassist Brian Donahue and drummer John Keefe offer chunky rips with the blunt of beefy fists slamming hard on granite as Johnson's vocals whip around the course with the instincts and agility of a mogul skier plunging down rocky slopes. Who knew they had this in them moving into modern rock terrain clothed in huge productions and trailed in bloated guitar vibrations with a fiery cycling that produces robust strokes in the rhythmic action. A number of tracks are designed to rev-up audiences by harnessing bars of chorus parts that mobilize fans to sing along with the band like in the title track and Chemicals Collide. It's like the band takes their cues from Bon Jovi enabling audience participation. The bobbing pumps of She's Got A Boyfriend Now and Real Thing burrow in the mind and make for catchy tunes that you can retrieve when you are reaching for song to sing along to while doing some mundane task. The roar of the guitars steaming up Contagious is trussed up in burly bass beats and rapid paddling in the drum strikes. Boys like Girls lower their gears to the dreamy acoustics and orchestral swirls of Two Is Better Than One and the folksy strips of Someone Like You. The soft rock rustling and coasting spins of The First One are disarming, and the acoustic plumes of Go have a romantic touch that aims its arrow right for human vulnerabilities.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are direct and convey human emotions such as regret in She's Got A Boyfriend Now with bold confessions that tell, Wish that I could turn this car around / but she's got a boyfriend now Nothing goes the way you expect it. Other confessions warn, The first one is the worst one when it comes to a broken heart from The First One, or proclaiming that I can't live without you I'm thinking two is better than one from Two Is Better Than One. There are also moments of reflection like in Someone Like You as Johnson implores, Who can save me now / My life in the rear view running from Jesus / Don't know where I'm going to / I got nothing to lose / I'm fighting my demons / Been looking for someone like you. The lyrics are revealing about human vulnerabilities and provide a platform to confess deeply embedded feelings.
Overall Impression — 8
Love Drunk lets audiences into Boys Like Girls rock n' roll fantasy. The album is to Boys Like Girls what Slippery When Wet is to Bon Jovi. It is geared for arena-sized audiences and reveals Boys Like Girls modern rock chops. It is the type of album that fans will be describing as classic rock twenty-years from now, but for today it is a modern rock n' roll fantasy.