Simple Plan, the Canadian quintet, are here to prove that North American punk rock is what they’re all about. This, their second album, is full of chirpy teenage-like vocals, together with songs that have tunes so similar that they appear to merge the songs all into one
Opener, and first single, Shut Up is one of the stronger tracks on the album, especially compared to prime album filler such as Perfect World and Promise. Preppy lyrics such as “So thank you for showing me that best friends can’t be trusted” (Thank You) or “Then we jumped in the car and drove as far as we could go” (Everytime) are pretty much what you’d expect. Crazy however proves to be of a more mature nature – detailing all the wrongs of the society (“There’s no more normal families, parents act like enemies”), this shows some area of growth for the band.
The weakest song on the album though is Jump. It has a beginning that sounds like a skewed version of its Van Halen namesake before merging into something resembling a Sum 41 out-take. To counteract this however, the closing track Untitled is a beautiful piano driven ballad which proves to be one of the stand-out tracks on the album.
The great thing about Simple Plan, though, is that they are clearly aware that their target audience are mainly young teenagers going through the toils of life. This is reflected lyrically in Welcome To My Life which aims to reach out to the listener – revealing at the same time that the band too were once in the same position.
This willingness to show their insecurities makes them a band that can be easily related to and justifies their immense US following (which manages to defy the traditional USA/Canadian hate relationship).
Still Not Getting Any is generally an easy listen and, if that is its intent, then Simple Plan have hit the jackpot. Its nothing out of the ordinary and as the same punk rock formula is churned out over and over again, it’s hard to imagine Simple Plan breaking away from the mould while they’re still selling records and performing to sold out crowds.
This ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ technique may work for them and for fans who have just started to get to know their music. For now then, this may be enough. However, Simple Plan are respectable artists with obvious talent and integrity – so other people searching for something of more substance will be sadly disappointed.