After undergoing the first phase of their transformation from emo underlings to full-blown pop superstars, the Promise Ring released this neat little record and won over all the hearts that still weren't paying attention. Containing two truly superb tracks, Girls & Boys is the clear bridge between the group's 1997 opus Nothing Feels Good and 1999's sugar-coated Very Emergency. Opening with the slightly self-referential and completely catchy "Tell Everyone We're Dead" (a fan favorite), the band shows off their mastery of the head-bopping style that they would soon become known for. The track never overextends itself and instead takes its time as it unfolds into a well-crafted and ultimately unforgettable tune. The equally upbeat and rather playful "Best Looking Boys" is next out of the gates and it wastes no time in establishing itself as another high point for the band. The final track, "American Girl," is a bit of a letdown with its sluggish pacing, but the band must have realized it, as a sped-up and improved version of the track was later included on 2000's Electric Pink EP. As with most of the band's releases, Girls & Boys is certainly worth owning, and it represents a nice phase of the group in their continuing quest for pop domination.
AllMusic Review by Peter J. D'Angelo