Love Drunk is the second album from pop-punkers Good Charlotte, I mean, Boys Like Girls. The album proves that the names of both these popular bands are virtually interchangeable. Case in point: Boys Like Girls (BLG) makes great strides to defy the naysayers who claim that Good Charlotte might be the worst band ever.
BLG deserves its praise for ripping off, and maybe even ruining, Good Charlotte’s music with Love Drunk. These guys missed their true calling by taking up musicianship instead of butchery. The album is so bombastic and inane that it’s tiring to listen to repeatedly.
Literally, it’s painful to listen to, beginning with the overproduced and auto-tuned “Heart Heart Heartbreak,” which tries extra hard to be an anthem but cannot reach a maturity level beyond the Radio Disney demographic.
This opening track starts with gurgling auto-tune as lead singer Martin Johnson gushes his angsty platitudes, “Headed for a heart, heart, heartbreak / I’m gonna, gonna turn around and walk away.”
The profundity continues with “Love Drunk,” the album’s first single, which already has over 8 million listens on Myspace. Hopefully, for the benefit of our civilization, the number is an enormous computational error.
“Love Drunk” is outrageously repetitive, apparently trying to see how many times they can say “I used to be love drunk” in less than four minutes, while making the pop-single template (verse-chorus-verse, etc.) seem even more stale than it already is.
The auto-tuned vocals also give the song a heavy feeling of insincerity. Music can be embellished but should never be this clean-cut; the entire album is almost neurotically spotless.
And then there is the next slated single, “She’s Got a Boyfriend Now,” which sounds like your favorite Good Charlotte song, placing smooth synths, crunchy guitars, and smoothly produced, bi-layered vocals in a sunny and overall insipid track laden with “woah-oh” chants.
If Love Drunk is meant for a much younger audience it can have some merit for being marketed successfully at its target group. Judging from the band’s pictures, it seems that they have larger interests than making a musically moving album anyway; they cling to the bad-boy emo appeal, perfect for the tweens who are too cool for the Jonas Brothers but not quite jaded enough to listen to their older brother’s Hawthorne Heights’ CD.
But solely on a sonic level, this album is so unimpressive as a whole that it’s difficult to know what is harder to accomplish: finding something musically worthwhile within it or continuing to listen in hopes that something bearable will appear.
The most incredibly painful songs are the slower tracks, like “Someone Like You,” which is plugged with emotional vapidity, although Johnson tries to disguise his half-interest through his whiny bawls. The song comes and goes (in what feels like a lifetime) but is musically static, and is ultimately a colossal waste of four minutes of album time.
With such trite elements, Boys Like Girls make crafting a pop song seem like an effortless endeavor- not in a good way. Their music is irritating, overused and unnecessary, further clogging the mainstream airwaves with more pre-adolescent nonsense.
Kevin Stevens can be reached at email@example.com.