Simple Plan - Get Your Heart On!
Record Label: Atlantic
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Simple Plan have never been the most respected band in the scene. A pair of platinum albums during the early-2000s "golden age" of pop-punk starkly divided potential fans into two groups: those who dismissed the band as juvenile rubbish, and those who embraced Simple Plan. Incidentally, the same two groups are likely to be at odds six years later with the band's latest effort. Make no mistake, this is Simple Plan's most complete and well-rounded work to date, and goodness is it catchy...but by now we all know what to expect from them in the lyrics department. Anyone who is averse to hearing cheesy lyrics and by-the-rules powerpop will most definitely not enjoy this album, but fans of the band (and probably some newcomers as well) will enjoy a collection of singalong gems.
And I do mean gems. Get Your Heart On! opens with a triple-shot of supremely catchy pop-punk that could have been ripped straight from 2003. Of course the production is up to date and spot-on; Pierre Bouvier's slightly nasally vocals are polished to a brilliant shine and delivered with the perfect amount of feeling and emotion throughout. Production aside, however, little has changed since '03 in terms of style on the front half of this record. The driving beat of "You Suck At Love" and the rapid-fire opening guitar / drums riff and timely handclaps of "Can't Keep My Hands Off You" are familiar territory, but they are executed so well that it's hard to complain. "Jet Lag" could very well be the catchiest song of the year, and the male-female duet of Bouvier and Natasha Bedingfield deserves to land this single on Top 40 radio.
The later half of this album is where the listener gets a few subtle winks at Simple Plan’s more recent ventures in the form of branching out stylistically. The band try their hand at Jason Mraz-esque pop with “Summer Paradise:” an optimistic acoustic number very reminiscent of Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” “Anywhere Else But Here” relies on synth and processed beats to create an electronic feel, and by the time the needling guitar lead in the chorus kicks in, it’s very likely that the listener already knows the words and is singing along. Finishing off the album is the ambitious closer, “This Song Saved My Life.” A compilation of sentimental Tweets from fans, the final track reflects the impact Simple Plan have had on the lives of their listeners throughout the years.
As mentioned earlier, this album is not particularly creative, nor is it unique lyrically. Lines about Fruit Roll-Ups and Lil Wayne, and Bouvier challenging an enemy of his to “throw down” in the album’s most aggressive song will leave more cynical listeners rolling their eyes, and understandably so. But on the other hand, there is something very endearing about these songs. There’s an honest emotion on this album that was commonplace during the early 2000s but is more difficult to find today. There’s no mention of partying or waking up with no memory of last night, and nowhere on the album will the listener encounter the word “dance.” It’s especially difficult to deny the poignancy in the last track—in fact it’s not even Simple Plan who wrote those lyrics, it’s the fans. Get Your Heart On! is exactly what these fans are looking for, and if that’s not your thing, that’s OK—just don’t expect Simple Plan to be something they’re not.
Astronaut seems out of the place on this record - Maturity level dropped or rose when writing this track or something, it just seems out of place.
Anyone else think this?
I think Simple Plan jumps back and forth between songs where you're supposed to take them seriously and songs where you're supposed to take it as "just for fun." This album probably has the fewest number of songs that you're supposed to take seriously since "Just Balls."