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Boyfriends, Girlfriends

(Rostrum; US: 27 Sep 2011; UK: Import)

Every track on Boyfriends, Girlfriends sounds as if it is aspiring to travel back in time. Donora draws heavily from fifties and sixties pop, with just a pinch of John Hughes soundtrack-ready material. Though it’s clear where the band gets its influences, how the influences are displayed never rises above the level of pastiche. The music is generally appealing and sometimes catchy—“Champion” being the best of the lot—but overall the album is inoffensive at best and annoying at worst. The jaunty “Mancini’s Dance Hall” is the biggest offender in the latter category, with an incredibly grating lyric: “Well the girlfriends / Need their boyfriends / And the boyfriends / Need their girlfriends.” The band is clearly trying to have fun, and no doubt it is, but on the whole Boyfriends, Girlfriends pursues that fun in a manner that emphasizes poor style over nonexistent substance.


Brice Ezell is Assistant Editor at PopMatters, where he also reviews music, film, and books, which he has done since 2011. He also is the creator of PopMatters' Notes on Celluloid column, which covers the world of film music. His writing also appears in Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine (formerly Hidden Track). His short story, "Belle de Jour", was published in 67 Press' inaugural publication The Salmagundi: An Anthology. You can follow his attempts at wit on Twitter and Tumblr if you're so inclined. He lives in Chicago.

Donora - Mancini's Dance Hall (Official Video)
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