TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM MONTREAL POP-PUNKS MAKE ANOTHER SIMPLE PLAN ALBUM THAT SOUNDS JUST LIKE SIMPLE PLAN
Simple Plan have a new album? What’s that gonna be like? A Simple Plan album, say we. But does that mean it’s any good (p50) ? Ooh, and The
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JUST TWO weeks ago, Youtube funnyman Jarrod Alonge ribbed Simple Plan in his latest parody video, Sunrise Skater Kids’ All The Old Things. To the tune of the Montreal fi ve-piece’s 2002 hit I’m Just A Kid, he mockingly whined, ‘I’m getting old and life is a nightmare / I’m getting old I just found my fi rst grey hair / Nobody cares ’cause all the kids in today’s pop-punk scene were born after 1999’.
Sure, it’s a big joke, but he’s kind of got a point. Frontman Pierre Bouvier is 36 now, which in pop-punk years makes him, like, 72. Yet, lyrically, him and his bandmates have barely matured from the whimpering youngsters they were when they made it big 14 years ago, after putting out No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls (note the continuation in punny album titles).
With Taking One For The Team, the most irritating example of this is on I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed – which features Nelly (Hello? 2009 called, it wants its guest appearances back), and an ‘I don’t wanna go to bed…’ chorus that sounds more like a petulant child throwing a tantrum than a dude serenading his lady.
Another is smushy ballad Problem Child. Presumably an open letter to his parents, Pierre cloyingly croons, ‘I never meant to be your problem child…’ while you sit and wish he’d had this conversation in his living room rather than on record. Then there’s calypso/reggae-inspired Singing In The Rain… but the less said about that, the better.
However, if you accept Taking One For The Team for what it is, which is just another Simple Plan album, then there’s lots to enjoy. Closing track I Dream About You actually is a departure for the fi vesome, and sees them dabble in dreamy synths, playing underneath delicious vocals from Juliet Simms. Elsewhere, New Found Glory’s Jordan Pundik lends his distinguished voice to Farewell, a pleasing and easily-digestible slice of pop-punk.
The two tracks most taking one for the team, though – and making this album worth the fi veyear wait – are Boom! and I Don’t Wanna Be Sad. The latter is a big band-sounding PMA anthem, which, under all the jazz-hands, has an important message that will resonate with the masses (something Pierre and co have excelled at on every album). And then there’s Boom!. Arguably the best song Simple Plan have ever written, it’s catchy, anthemic, instantly likeable and proves exactly why Simple Plan are still going strong. DOWNLOAD: Boom!, I Don’t Wanna Be Sad. FOR FANS OF: All Time Low, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Good Charlotte.