Simple Plan

Taking One For The Team

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. It’s definitely where they sound the most confident. Tracks like the slow burning love song “Boom!” or “freaks” of the world anthem “I Refuse” churn with the barely contained energy and fury that has driven this Quebecois band for nearly two decades now. As varied as Taking One gets, there is something familiar and reliable about the album. The choruses are pitched and metered to ensure for lots of sing-along hang time when the band plays them live, and the lyrics tend to stick to their two standby subjects: love and empowering or soothing the mind of teen outcasts. It’s hard to fault them for sticking to that template since it was what helped turn the band into superstars around the world. But as Simple Plan moves outside of their musical comfort zone, it would be great to hear them mess with the formula a little more.

Atlantic Records