Some groups endure many years without undergoing many changes, while some artists need often face member changes as well as sound changes. Flight 180 is just one of those artists that have endured multiple changes. Not only has personnel changed several times, but the group started out named simply 180 before taking on the Flight to the beginning. Starting off as a primarily girl-fronted ska band, the group soon morphed into what is now a surfer pop punk with horns rock band. The band's previous record, Lineup brought some problems up for the band which didn't help things for them. In response to a swing-influenced song on their debut album Crackerjack which had become a huge hit, Lineup was a fun swing album the band wanted to offer fans. Unfortunately, people naturally thought they had become a swing band. Not so. 2001's Girls & Boys is the band's way of setting the record straight.
Blending the sounds of MxPx, No Doubt, and Blink 182 with a relevant encouraging message for today makes up mostly what is Girls & Boys. Easily comparable to Dakoda Motor Co., a female fronted pop punk group of the early to mid 90s, Flight 180 shows their growth on this album. Although the production could be tighter and crisper to help Kim Tennberg's vocals stand out a little more, the album has a decent garage band feel.
Lyrical themes cover a wide variety of topis such as inner beauty on "Little Girl," forgiveness on "Sorry," struggling with sin in "In the Midst," and appreciating time with loved ones with "Miserable." "Walmart" is a uniquely odd number, serving as Tennberg's reminder while on the road of thanking God for the little things in life. Lyrical content is probably one of the album's highlights. While the album as a whole may be a little rough around the edges in spots, Girls & Boys tackles familiar topics for teens these days.
A fine directional step for the group, Girls & Boys is worth a few listens, and solidifies the group as one to certainly keep an eye on for the future.- Review date: 11/25/01, written by John DiBiase
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