[REVIEW] Simple Plan – Taking One For The Team

Ashleigh Clarke

© Dalle APRF/picturedesk.com - DAL -- SIMPLE PLAN 2/2008 credit: Fontaine /DALLE

After releasing their previous album way back in 2011, the Canadian pop-punk band – Simple Plan are back at it again with their 5th studio album, ‘Taking One for the Team’.

The album starts off like you’d expect it too, punchy. ‘Opinion Overload’ is the first track we hear and straight away we’re already nodding our heads. The song itself is your typical teenage angtsy “I’m doing things my way, if you don’t like it, tough sh*t!” Before you know it, you’re already singing the chorus and reverting back to your 16 year old self, but there’s nothing wrong with that! To me, it’s a great introduction for the rest of the album.

Keeping up with the fast paced, high energy theme the album has already set in stone, the next song ‘Boom’, literally starts off with well…a boom. It’s quite clear to me, that this is a love song as they refer to the person as being “my favourite song” and making “their crazy little heart go boom.” Although it’s soppy in the most pop-punk way possible, it’s still a song that you can sing wherever, whether you’re driving in the car and cleaning in the kitchen.

A catchy bassline plus the tap, tap, tapping of a tambourine equals ‘Kiss Me like Nobody’s Watching’. This is a song where you’re not just singing lead vocals, you’re also chiming in with the backup vocals too because it’s just that good. For me, this sounds like the early sound of Simple Plan, it’s a definite feel good tune, with pure lyrics and a memorable beat.

So after those three already unforgettable zappy love songs, ‘Farewell’ I’m guessing, is an “I’m already over you, we tried our hardest, break up” tune. But don’t be fooled, it’s not slow and it’s not boring, it sounds more like the person is picking themselves up off the ground and it ready to move forward. Much like ‘Singing in the Rain’ – the next song from the album with reggae roots, it bears resemblance to making light of a bad situation and brushing it off with a flick off your wrist. Already, this album is beginning to sound like an anthem for people who need a quick ‘pick me up’.

Queue the “I miss you, please come back” song from the album, every band has one. ‘Everything Sucks’ is a song where…everything sucks basically when that one person isn’t in your life. It’s still a cheery tune, if you take out the co-dependent lyrics and the ‘I can’t do anything because you’re not here’ message it’s portraying.

I Refuse’ is the anthem every kid needed to hear when they were growing up, the song is about being unapologetic for who you are, and standing up for yourself in every way possible. It’s a big middle finger to everyone who ever told you, you weren’t good enough.

Striving away from that pop-punk aesthetic the boys have evidentially shown throughout their career, ‘I Don’t Wanna go to Bed’ shows that they are capable of more than just one sound. The song is funky and definitely takes influence from early R&B hits and maybe a bit of Adam Levine inspired vocals?

Nostalgic’ and ‘P.S. I Hate You’ are what you’d expect them to be. Remembering the sappy and good times you shared with your ex and feeling helpless to the memories you shared with them. The songs are about wanting to get over them, but not quite getting there. They’re good, albeit a bit predictable.

Okay so this is where I insert the unbelievably mushy love song, ‘Perfectly Perfect’. It’s not really my cup of tea but it’s a song that will plaster a smile on anybody’s face when they’re feeling insecure. The acoustic guitar sets in tone the almost dreamy, fairy-tale setting the listener is thinking up in their head, it’s the right amount of sop without being too vomit inducing. It sounds as if trumpets were involved for the next track ‘I Don’t Wanna be Sad’. The song itself has a catchy riff and a jolly tune, speaking to the masses about it being okay to be sad, but wanting to push past it and start doing what makes you happy.

Problem Child’ is an apology song, but not another obvious love song about a significant other. More like a child singing this to their parent, about not living up to their standards and to me it’s quite moving and heartfelt once you really listen to the lyrics, realising that at one point everybody’s been in this boat at some point in their life. For me, this is the most honest song on the album as it’s not only more relatable than the others, but it provokes actual emotion.

Last but not least we have ‘I Dream About You’ featuring Juliet Simms. I personally wouldn’t have ended the album on another love song but the harmonies fit well together and the melody is beautiful. It’s a soothing song, but not a great song to end on.

Overall, I thought the album was good and although I found some of the songs a bit cringe worthy I definitely wouldn’t give it a miss. The tunes are catchy, and just what you’d expect from this kind of band.

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