Simple Plan – Harder Than It Looks

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Simple Plan is a band you most likely have heard before. Maybe you know it, maybe you don't. But this band is so diverse, chances are high that you've heard about Tik Tok sensation 'I'm Just a Kid', the recognizable 'Welcome to My Life' or 2011's big summer hit 'Summer Paradise'. Let's see if we can add any songs from their latest album 'Harder Than it Looks' to this hit list.

A fresh breath of new punk rock music comes at you in a wave of cool summer vibes and emotional guitars. First song ‘Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)’ hits that feeling right from the first note, especially the emotional part. The video tells the story about the war in the Ukraine.

Sum 41 lead singer Deryck Whibley does his fair share of collaborations lately. Here he joins lead singer Pierre Bouvier on ‘Ruin My Life’. The catchy pop-rock song gets in your head straight away. Drummer Chuck Comeau takes care of the catchy beat that makes your head bob around through the whole song. Deryck has this specific sound to his voice that’s easy recognizable. I’ve heard his voice on heavier stuff, but his voice fits perfectly in this pop rock song too.

Third song ‘The Antidote’ sounds at first very familiar. But near the end, the short, but killer guitar solo/riff makes this whole song badass. Also, it’s a very sweet song about someone being the antidote to whatever is going on in your live. You’re lucky if you have that kind of antidote in your life. Go send this song to that person right now.

‘Congratulations’ blasts through your speakers right from the start. Another very repeatable song. Even though the song title implies you’re congratulating somebody on something good that they did, it’s actually about somebody who fucked up.

‘Best Day Of My Life’ is the most energetic song on this album. It’s fast, it’s punk rock, it’s out there.

“Now I’m starting to see, that I’ve already got what I need. ‘Cause I’m living every day like it’s the best fuckin’ day of my life.”

I think this lyric is a great quote to summarize the meaning of the song, but also a valuable life lesson. The song does end a little abrupt though.

Second to last song ‘Slow Motion‘ starts off slow, like you might expect form the song title. But this song evolves over time and it builds up to a high. A high that doesn’t fade away. It even does it again right before the last chorus. We go from a slow paced, mysterious sounding part to all out once again. Definitely my favorite song of the album.

Last song ‘Two’ talks about a child who’s parents are divorced. Two of everything you didn’t want two of. Two families that used to be one. A bit sad to end on this song. Nevertheless, a very powerful song too, that left me behind with a tear in my eye.

‘Harder Than It Looks’ is very catchy and almost every song is tempting you to click the repeat button. Some of the songs sound like you’ve heard them before. That’s one of the elements that takes a bit away from the originality of the album.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 7/10
  • Originality 7/10
8

In general, this is a feel good album from start to finish. With ups and downs emotion wise, but all ups music wise. It’s catchy, it’s rockin’, it’s also not too heavy and has a poppy element to it. This all adds up to this record being open to a wide range of people, who might have different interests in music, but come together at a Simple Plan concert. 

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