metal + hardcore
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Music Reviews

Harder Than It Looks

Simple Plan
Released: 05.05.22
Review by Maddi Myers | May 5, 2022 at 3:00 PM

“I used to put you first and always leave myself behind and I’ll admit you got real close, but I’ll be sleeping fine tonight. Sorry I don’t mean to disappoint you. You didn’t ruin my life”

I’m a sucker for nostalgia (I am a millennial after all). So when I think of Simple Plan, I like to think back to the 6th grade and being introduced to pop-punk music by listening to “Welcome to My Life”; or everyone losing their minds when one of their songs came on at a high school dance. For those bands that you’ve loved for a long time, you always hope they find that perfect mix of staying true to the music you love while giving you something fresh as the years go on.

Simple Plan has mastered that balance. Their new album, Harder Than It Looks has half of my brain back in my high school gym jumping up and down. The other half is falling in love with the band in a brand new way that will have me blasting the album every morning while I get ready for work.

Another balance that Simple Plan does incredibly well? Giving you a song that makes you want to get up and dance, while delivering lyrics that hit you right where you least expect it.

“Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)” is the perfect example. They start the song with a beat of beautiful piano and then in the next beat pair it with a power punch of guitar. My exact thought process was, “Oh this is pretty… OH LET’S GOOOO.” Then they hit you with emotion, singing, “It’s never been so loud and clear. I wish that I could disappear to a place that’s far from here, cause I could just feel it. Tell me we’ll be alright.” I mean, do you dance or do you cry?

My favorite song? It’s not an easy question to answer but “Ruin My Life” makes me want to rage in a way a song hasn’t in a long time. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to disappoint you. You didn’t ruin my life.” Thank you, Simple Plan, for writing a song for those of us who have gotten to the other side of the hell that is a toxic relationship. Holy shit, this song is empowering and fun.

“Anxiety” hits home for anyone who has felt the weight of that tight feeling in your chest and the thoughts in your head you can’t shake. After the past couple of years, I would say that’s most of us. Simple Plan does an amazing job of capturing those feelings and turning them into something you could play on repeat.

To be honest, there isn’t one bad track on this album. Simple Plan has the same heart that made you fall in love with them the first time you heard them and it’s about to grow 10 times bigger with fresh lyrics and a sound that hits you in the gut. SP continues to earn the title of pop-punk legends.

Stream it, Buy it, Skip it?: Buy this album! It will be worth every dime. Past, present, and future you will be glad you did. 

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