Album Review: Taking One For The Team

– By Jessica Thomas

Simple Plan was the pinnacle of the pop punk genre in the early 2000s, bringing out the non-threatening rebel in high schoolers across the nation with hits like I’m Just A Kid and Shutup. Now the French Canadian band is back with their long-awaited fifth studio album Taking One For The Team.

Heavy guitar riffs explode off the album opener. Opinion Overload was the second single from the album Taking One For The Team. Featuring pop punk and alternative rock style, the single was released two weeks before the release of the album. Boom, released as a promotional single, features catchy lyrics and an infectious sound that makes you want to dance.

The two opening tracks put you in the mood to pull out your old Greenday albums. Then comes Farewell, featuring the unmistakeable vocals of Jordan Pundik from New Found Glory. Farewell combines a lot of classic, old-school pop-punk vibes with more modern influences.

You’re starting to feel confident about Simple Plan’s return to punk, when 10 seconds later you’re listening to reggae in the form of Singing In The Rain. By the time you make it to I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed, featuring Nelly, you’ve come to the conclusion this Canadian pop-punk band is more pop than punk. Despite what many punk fans might say, this is a damn good pop album.

I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed was the album’s first single. The song features pop and funk influences in a stylistic departure from the pop punk of the group’s earlier work. The Baywatch-inspired music video premiered a day before the song’s digital release.

Few people know how to write a song that teeters the line between punk-rock and pop as perfectly as Simple Plan. They’ve made a career out of it, writing for themselves and writing for others. The guys have mastered that energy once again with Nostalgic. It’s sweet and deviant, in true Simple Plan style.

Perfectly Perfect is an emotionally pop-rock ballad co-written with Plain White T’s front man Tom Higgenson. The track is an acoustic guitar-fuelled track about overcoming doubts and negative thoughts about self-image. Simple Plan will make you feel like an angsty teen again with their brand new breakup song P.S. I Hate You.

Problem Child is a symphonic rock ballad with emotional lyrics. Some may call it a sequel to their 2005 global smash hit “Untitled (How Could This Happen To Me),” but of course a little watered down. If you want a rocking and rolling feel-good album to kick off 2016, then this is the one for you.

Track Listing:
1. Opinion Overload
2. Boom
3. Kiss Me Like Nobody’s Watching
4. Farewell
5. Singing In The Rain
6. Everything Sucks
7. I Refuse
8. I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed
9. Nostalgic
10. Perfectly Perfect
11. I Don’t Wanna Be Sad
12. P.S. I Hate You
13. Problem Child
14. I Dream About You

Download the album here

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