ALBUM REVIEW: Simple Plan – Taking One For The Team

It’s kind of weird to think that Simple Plan‘s first release was about fourteen years ago now. No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls was goofy, fun and it ensured their status as pop-punk stalwarts. With their knack for writing solid-gold chunks of pop-punk, there’s a definite reason that they’re still about almost a decade and a half down the line.

There’s no denying that Simple Plan are a fun listen. The rapport between frontman Pierre Bouvier and the two backing vocalists David Desrosiers and Sebastien Lefebvre creates a kind of call-and-response feel, the guitars always sound great and the drummer, Chuck Comeau is an utter powerhouse – really and truthfully they’re absolutely everything you would need from a pop-punk band.

The two lead singles from the album – the album’s opening tracks Opinion Overload and Boom! – are exactly what you would have come to expect from Simple Plan. With those sing-along choruses, crystal clear guitars and catchy melodies, their exactly what makes them so. Damn. Likeable. There’s still a lot of clear influence from other pop-punk juggernauts such as New Found Glory and Blink-182, but it brings all of the better parts from the early-to-mid 2000’s and makes it seem more current.

There are some seriously odd moments on the album, admittedly. There’s the slightly weird reggae (seriously) moment of Singing in the Rain that sees Bouvier adopt a strange Jamaican twinge, that sticks out like a sore thumb. It doesn’t really fit the album at all, and it’s an unusual song to bring into the mix. Their collaboration with Nelly – of all people – I Don’t Want To Go To Bed, is the album’s R&B moment. A little bit weird put in the middle of the album but – unlike Singing in the Rain – it’s actually quite a good song.

Taking One For The Team‘s most appealing quality is the fact that there’s such a minimal difference between the songs on their earlier albums to now, but the songs don’t seem to sound dated or irrelevant. Simple Plan gained a loyal following throughout the earlier part of their career who are well into their twenties by now, but their appeal is reaching younger audiences – in the same way to bands such as All Time Low and You Me At Six. Their audience is just as much the twenty-somethings who remember bopping along to I’d Do Anything and Shut Up as it is young ones who had their introduction to Simple Plan a little later on.

Has there been much change in the way that their songs sound in all those years? If we’re honest, no. Songs such as Kiss Me Like Nobody’s Watching and the aptly-named Nostalgia have exactly the same sort of feel that attracted their older fan base in the first place, and the sound that sustains the fanbase they’ve accumulated in the fourteen years since their first release. The truth is that Simple Plan have struck a winning formula, and we can’t really blame them for sticking to their guns.


Standout Tracks: Opinion Overload, Kiss Me Like Nobody’s Watching, Nostalgia

For Fans Of: New Found Glory, Blink-182

Written By: Emily Laws