The Boys Star Library's debut full-length on their own Bumblebear Records provided ample evidence for singer/guitarist Jimmy Hughes' fondness for catchy pop hooks and jangly instrumentation. The disc is apparently a musical narrative of a life lived had Hughes been born female, complete with the album's artwork, which provides pictures and themes for each song. After the untitled and chaotic first track, the second track, "Nancy," lays the foundation for the album's storytelling and blissful pop hooks. Connected to the title of the album through the lyric "If I was born a girl, I'd be named Nancy," the song also relates to the band's I'd Be Named CD later in 2000. After the first few upbeat, Casio-laden tracks, things slow down on "Star Cupid," with a synthesizer-rich backdrop combined with minimal instrumentation. The band's upbeat tendencies show up again on "If," a song that provides the most intensity at the band's live shows. The band is able to alternate from soft indie pop music to a more energetic form of the same style. "All You Got Is Love" starts off soft, transforming itself into a rollicking display of the band's genuine love for music. The song leads into the catchy and festive "Song Fades to Applause." The disc ends with "Being Old," as the character Nancy reaches the end of a long life lived. If I Was Born a Girl was recorded mostly at 80-20 Studios, with other tracks recorded at other studios in the area around the band's Brooklyn home base. Chris Bracco capably backs up Hughes on guitar, with Danny Parker on bass and Andrew Veety on drums.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer