Release Date: Feb 12, 2008
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Punk
Pop-punk practitioners rarely make it to a third album without declaring some sort of newfound sensibility -- they're going a little darker, say, or they're experimenting with a dancier sound. But Simple Plan stick to pretty familiar territory on album three, which maybe explains the unclever self-title: perhaps the plan for this one really is simple. The Montreal boys pound away at full speed here, cranking out a batch of short, frivolous songs that showcase Pierre Bouvier's nasal but weirdly appealing voice and one, "I Can Wait Forever," that seems to be rooted in real feeling.
These Montreal mallrats dial up the ”pop” half of their pop-punk formula on Simple Plan, their self-titled third studio album, enlisting Top 40-friendly producers like Max Martin (Kelly Clarkson) and Nate ”Danja” Hills (Britney Spears) to give their tunes a glossy sheen. And yet there aren’t enough synth-wielding Svengalis in the world to disguise the tricks that this quartet has always relied on: super-tinny guitars, extra-whiny vocals, an occasional dash of misogyny. All things considered, this Plan to update their sound winds up being too Simple.
There are only two explanations for this shitstorm of drivel. First, the band as a whole is made up of robots who’ve been pre-programmed to perform pithy, unremarkable songs about teen angst without ever questioning the audacious vapidity inherent therein. Second (and more likely) is that the man-boys (they’re almost 30, btw) in the band started playing asinine pop music cloaked in a manufactured and highly derivative skate-punk/mascara-and-emo aesthetic after they caught on to the “tween phenomenon” and realized that kids six to 12 have massive spending power and market influence and are, incidentally, probably the only ones willing to shell out money for what Simple Plan are selling.