Boyfriends, Girlfriends


Rostrum Music, 2011

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


If there is one thing that the title of Donora’s Boyfriends, Girlfriends says about the album is, that it’s “fun.” This sophomore effort by Pittsburgh, PA’s Donora (named after Donora, PA, a borough south of Pittsburgh) is about the simplest forms of love – the high-school kind – presented as bubbly pop songs. It is obvious, with titles like “Happily Ever After,” “The World Is Ours,” and “If You See My Boyfriend,” that teenage crush reigns as the driving theme behind the album.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This trio – comprised of Casey Hanner on vocals, her brother Jake Hanner on drums, and Jake Churton on bass – shows no attempt to sound mature or cultivated on its juvenile pop songs. However, this lack of any pretension is charming, as the band sounds aptly like a bunch of complete goofballs on this collection of songs. Most of the numbers on Boyfriends, Girlfriends are characterized by the innocence of classic pop music and have a nostalgic sound that easily pre-dates the existence of any of Donora’s members by far. This is especially the case with the tracks at the beginning and towards the end of the album.

The nostalgic and naïve bubblegum pop aspect of Boyfriends, Girlfriends is sweet and frolicsome, but it is nothing when compared to the set of cuts in the middle of the album. This is where the band comes out of the past and gets more creative in a different and good way, coming up with great pop songs for the present-day hipster: “Mancini’s Dance Hall” along with “And Then Girls,” undoubtedly the best cuts on the disc, are catchy as hell with their swaggering beats. “Boom Boom” is a fast and sharp pop-punk attack. “Untouchables” is a sweet and singable ethereal pop song. “Can Can” smacks of ‘80s pop and is a whole lot of fun.

Boyfriends, Girlfriends is a lively album with some really good pop numbers that will lift anyone’s spirits up.

Rating: B

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