Nine years after No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls went double-platinum, Canada’s Simple Plan is back with their fourth studio album. With Get Your Heart On!, the band embrace the spirit that ushered five kids from Montreal into worldwide fame nearly a decade ago.
The new album is energetic, playful and classic Simple Plan. The songs are guitar-focused and buffet the current trend of pop-rock bands to dump in synthetic keyboard because Adam Young/Owl City’s single, “Firefly”, went quadruple platinum copying Erasure’s sound from 1990. (By the way Adam, you can’t say you’re experiment with new sound and then release “Alligator Sky” – which is basically just another version of “Firefly” mixed with other songs – it’s called a mash-up/bastard pop/powermix, and it started in the 50’s)
Get Your Heart On! starts out energetic and strong with “You Suck At Love”, thrusting into “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You” and maintaining the pace with their current single, “Jet Lag”. There’s a brief, soulful interlude with “Astronaut” before climaxing with “Loser Of The Year”. [Sorry, when your album name is a boner joke, you seriously can’t expect me to not pump it for all it’s worth.]
I say climax at the fifth track because this is really two albums wrapped up in a single package.
“Anywhere Else But Here” begins a shift in the tone of the album. Here, the band starts to experiment with different sounds. “Anywhere Else…” is probably the weakest song on the album – overly repetitive and sounding a bit like a grade-school anthem. “Freaking Me Out” is fun, but slightly misplaced. However I can see it making its way on to a movie soundtrack. “Summer Paradise” closes out the experiment, sounding more like a bonus track; a “and now for something different” recording to cleanse the palette.
The final three track encapsulates the album and showcase what the band is best known for aside from their music. Around the world in a couple dozen countries and nearly as many languages, the band has touch the lives of countless people. “Gone Too Soon”, “Last One Standing”, and “This Song Saved My Life” accurately reflect how they’ve impacted their fans with their music and the Simple Plan Foundation.
Music is primal. Music is magical. Music has power. Songs touch every aspect of our lives. Our first love. Our first kiss. Music is an escape when the world seems too much to bear.
It’s a huge responsibility, but the guys in Simple Plan are well suited for the task, and Get Your Heart On! is an excellent album to help them continue their mission. (4.0/5.0)
Get Your Heart On! drops June 21, 2011.