Thursday, December 13, 2012

Album Review: "Crazy World" by Boys Like Girls

After so much anticipation, including a year-long hiatus, a change in lineup, and rumors or all sorts, I was looking forward to Crazy World.

Then the EP came out and I wasn't impressed by that. I started to get worried. I wanted good things from a band that took so much time off, that had really started to define where my music tastes lie, and that indirectly saw to it that I made some of the best friends of my life and had some of the best experiences of my life. And when I saw them live I got some of that faith back. They were great to meet after, super excited like I expected them to be and maybe I might learn to like the new music.

Only now I've heard the whole album and I have to's not very good.

As before, "The First Time" has that opening synth line that's so jarring it hurts to hear it. Cringe-worthy. The words are alright, but they still feel sort of vapid, like a bad country song. Which of course makes one worry of the rest of the album. Is it all going to be bad country music.

The short answer?


I'm still skipping past "Life of the Party" because that one doesn't get any better. It's still dumb. "Shoot" and "Red Cup"? Also terrible. "Shoot" sings about having a 9 to 5 life and getting away from the grind like they've suddenly become Kenny Chesney or something. Which is weird since Martin hasn't ever had anything close to a 9 to 5 and from what I've seen, doesn't know many down home folk either (if his twitter account is anything to be believed, full of trips to go skiing, outings with other LA types). What about that song is supposed to appeal to their existing fanbase of teenaged to early twenty-something girls is beyond me. The argument at this point could be made that maybe they're going down a new route, maybe they're trying something different.

That's all fine and dandy, hell I support them in that if that's what they want to do, but we really should rethink the fanbase. Who you're talking to via twitter. How you look. What shows you're playing. Opening for Carly Rae Jepson and All American Rejects is not the right show. Go open for Blake Shelton, or hell, Taylor Swift.

Speaking of Miss Swift, if you like her music? You'll love "Cheated". Actually I feel like she should take it and put it on her album. Sounds like one of her songs for sure.

I also have to say, I'm from the south and "Red Cup"? It's almost insulting to hear. It's hard to hear someone write about things they don't know, they haven't experienced and anyone from here can tell you that six months in Nashville doesn't make you completely aware of how our culture is. Stop putting out songs like you're Toby Keith. He did that song already and as much as I don't get it, he did it better.

All that said, there's a few bright points on the album. "Stuck in the Middle" sort of sounds like a country version of a Coldplay cover, but it's not bad. I'd listen to it again. "Be Your Everything" still stands up, even over laced with all the poptacular back beat. I really liked "Leaving California", which was good despite some lyrics that don't make sense, and that bugging-me aspect of the fact that Martin has a house in California and still lives there full time, but again it's a more grown up sound musically even if the lyrics are weaker. The last track, "Hey You", also stands up pretty well.

It's frustrating. I'd heard acoustic versions of "Crazy World" and was excited for it, but apparently the album version isn't very good. Actually it's not good at all. "Take Me Home" is probably good live, but the album just sounds like trounced up drum beats that don't fit properly. (Which is a shame considering John Keefe is a damn good drummer and doesn't need his instrument trumped up.)

As a whole, the entire album is depressingly not good. It's not up to par, not what anyone would expect from Boys Like Girls. Vapid lyrics, when their previous albums toted songs like "Go" and "Holiday". A pointless change in direction, that doesn't seem completely committed to, only half. It wasn't worth the wait, nor would I say, worth the money. There's about three songs on the album I would pay money for and I kind of don't want to.

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