Release Date: Feb 19, 2016
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop
At the turn of the millennium, when Warped Tour pop-punk was mainstream, Montreal's Simple Plan were the Canadian answer to blink-182 and Good Charlotte. More than a decade after they hit the scene -- and four albums later -- they return with their satisfying fifth LP, Taking One for the Team (Atlantic). There's no pretense here: this album is pure, no-frills, feel-good fun, a start-to-finish crowd-pleaser for fans of that classic pop-punk sound.
Simple Plan’s fifth studio album, Taking One For the Team, begins with a preemptive attack. Singing over the same palm-muted guitars that have defined the band’s sound since 2002’s No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls, frontman Pierre Bouvier addresses the legions of hipsters and cynics who are likely to dismiss Simple Plan based on principle alone. “I’m doing things exactly like I want to,” Bouvier declares, presumably with his chin up and his shoulders squared in a fighting stance.
After relying on an array of guest stars and co-writers to help reinforce their 2011 album Get Your Heart On!, Simple Plan are, for the most part, trusting their own instincts again on their brand new LP Taking One For The Team. In doing so, the Canadian quintet allow themselves to travel down a wide array of stylistic paths, with diversions into reggae (the bouncy and joyful “Singing In The Rain”) and Maroon 5-like disco pop (lead single “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed”). As fun as those dalliances are, Simple Plan’s steady relationship with pop/punk is what provides the foundation here.