THE SINGLES BAR: Boys Like Girls, “Be Your Everything”
Posted by Reviewson 07/12/2012 at 12:01 PM
The Popdust Files: Boys Like Girls
Boys Like Girls had a nice little diverse career there, from chugging pop-punk songs like “Love Drunk” to tender Taylor Swift acoustic duets like “Two Is Better Than One.”
But it’s a pop-punk career, which when you’re looking to continue the radio play you’ve got (both aforementioned tracks chatted respectively) can be a dicey proposition. Think of Gotye, who got to No. 1 because of a percussion-boosted dance mix of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” not the original; think of Ellie Goulding, who’s charting with a Fernando Garibay dance version of her original “Lights” mix. Boys Like Girls told MTV that radio stations wanted guitar-free mixes of their work, a request so repeated and so apparently irritating it made them take a break.
Upcoming album Crazy World is their comeback, and they had to address it somehow. They could’ve address it like Maroon 5, whose response to the same question was an eager “Guitars? We know not of such things. These days they’re the equivalent of payphones.” [Songwriter: "Um, about that metaphor...] Boys Like Girls, while their album reportedly is split between rock and dance, were clear in the MTV interview that they weren’t making “a disco record,” which on the one hand suggests we’re not getting another Overexposed but on the other hand is literally what people said when they tossed disco records on a bonfire in the ’70s.
That’s a lot of pontification, anyway, for a track that couldn’t be more straightforward. Listen below.
The working title for “Be Your Everything” might as well have been “Two Is Better Than One (Except When We Didn’t Get Taylor Swift).” It’s another ballad, along the same lines as Swift’s; the vocals keen up into falsetto and down into strength, and the guitars–yes, the guitars are still here–lilt the same way. The lyrics are what you’d expect–being on a mission to be shelter from the storm and your everything, you know how it goes. It’s perfectly competent, it’s going to soundtrack a lot of relationships, and it is not risky at all.
But was it ever going to be? The other track “Be Your Everything” is a lot like is Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up,” which is also a sensitive acoustic ballad by an artist who’d taken some time off. That track has plenty of guitars. It’s plenty sensitive. And it did really well on the charts. Will there be more “Love Drunk”s on Perfect World, or dance-rock tracks that could’ve be done by 3OH!3 if they were still established things too? Undoubtedly. But “Be Your Everything,” as a statement of purpose, is a perfectly competent, perfectly safe ballad. It’ll do fine. They’ll do fine. Enough ado.
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