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Music Reviews

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Review by Alex Bear | February 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM

“I’m doing things exactly like I want to”

I remember sitting in my friend’s bedroom back in 2004 being introduced to Still Not Getting Any… What my friend said about the band has stuck with me ever since; she said all their songs have one “simple” plan: to make you feel something. And listening to Taking One For The Team, it’s like I’m back in that room, discovering what was soon to be a favorite band, and agreeing that my friend was right. Like with everything Simple Plan has released, this record makes you feel, whether it’s excited, in love, in-your-face-let’s-crash-an-upscale-restaurant angsty, or a little bit emo–which are all the ingredients that make up a classic SP album.

“Opinion Overload” kicks off the album with the ultimate throwback to Simple Plan’s early days. The defiant lyrics are one big F U to everyone who has ever had an unnecessary opinion about your life, which will have you chanting along like you wrote the words yourself (especially the next time you open Facebook). Closely following are the irresistible lead single “Boom” and the adorable “Kiss Me Like Nobody’s Watching”–by track three you’ll have fallen in love with their music all over again.

Taking One For The Team definitely has a nostalgic touch of early 2000s pop punk but it also packs more than a few surprises. Like 2011’s Get Your Heart On!, the album is full of collaborations, ranging from pop punk legend Jordan Pundik and singer/songwriter Juliet Simms to the slightly less expected R. City and…Nelly. (Wait, what?) But somehow it works, a credit to their willingness to experiment with their sound while still remaining so distinctly SP. Their gradual move towards more of a beach-inspired vibe (which explains the R. City and Nelly collaborations) with tracks like “Singing In The Rain” and “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed” will make you wish it was summer already so you can hit the coast with your best friends.

Of course it wouldn’t be SP without a few emotional ballads. “Problem Child” and “Perfectly Perfect” are sure to tug at your heartstrings–the sincerity in every song proves that Simple Plan just get it. They get that it’s okay to feel sad even if they don’t want to be. [see “I Don’t Wanna Be Sad”] They get what it’s like not to feel good enough. They get what it’s like to want to escape, if only for a few minutes.

You’ll go from being that eleven year old kid, sitting on the floor of your best friend’s room, to the teenager who thought the dark days would never end, to the adult who’s in love and hopeful for the future. You might be a little older than when you started listening to Simple Plan, or this might be your first experience, but no matter what age you are these songs resonate on so many levels, because they’ll make damn sure you believe in every note.

Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it? Take one for the team and Buy It–it’s worth every cent.

Tune in to hear Simple Plan  takeover our airwaves and play their brand new record in full on Friday 19th at 7PM ET, in a very special Listening Party hosted by the band! Find out more info here.

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