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Wednesday, January 23rd
Music Reviews: Albums
First big alt-rock tour makes rousing stop in NC

The first big alt-rock tour of year stopped by North Carolina and put on a show for the ages.

Band brings electricity and passion to NY

Cristina goes to Albany, NY to check out the Jimmy Eat World/Paramore tour.

Silverstein & TDWP rocks out Seattle

Jennifer L. was in Seattle to check out Silverstein and The Devil Wears Prada.

The Veronicas makes rousing return to the US

The Australian twins made a loud return to the US and Cristina was there to see it all.

Band brings electric atmosphere to Wisconsin

Amy reviews The Honorary Title in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Sassiness and language abounds in album debut

Rachel reviews the debut album of sassy U.K. import Kate Nash.

Label debut fresh approach to acoustic pop/rock

Alan reviews the latest effort from star indie singer-songwriter Dave Barnes.

Sophomore effort shows growth

Jennifer B. reviews the sophomore effort from 'High School Musical's' Vanessa Hudgens.

Goodrem returns to form on third effort

Aussie sensation Delta Goodren returns to sunny pastures on her third album.

4th album retreats back to grungy anthems

Alan reviews the latest effort from anthemic Southern rockers 3 Doors Down.

UK supergroup brings creativity to debut album

Ryan reviews the album debut of UK supergroup The Accidental.

Long-awaited debut freshens up country

Cristina reviews the long awaited debut album of country-rockers Lady Antebellum.

3rd effort departs from teen pop sound, goes mature

Jennifer reviews the 3rd effort from former teen star Jesse McCartney.

More reviews

Simple Plan
Simple Plan: Simple Plan

Long wait results in a mature third effort
It has been a long wait for Simple Plan fans. We have been looking forward to new music after we exhausted all of the songs from their sophomore CD, Still Not Getting Any, almost four years ago. But the suspense is finally over and the result is their third, self -titled album. And almost every Simple Plan can agree with me when I say it was worth the wait.

From first look, the cover signals that this is a more mature Simple Plan that has come a long way from No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls. But after all, it is the same five guys we have loved all along. This is also true of the music; even though it might have a hint of new sound; it has the same rock-punk element of “I’d Do Anything” at heart. But it also incorporates a new energy and maturity that was not evident in their previous releases.

The album starts with the techno beats of “When I’m Gone.” It might be puzzling to hear this in a Simple Plan song. But once it hits the chorus, the familiar guitar progressions and energetic “woahs” remind us of the songs we cherish and love. The second verse is more powerful than the first, as the guys sing of lyrics that inspire fans to make something of their life and the legacy they leave behind. The bridge of the song is perhaps the climax of it all; the instrumentals are stronger and the vocals are catchy. The song finishes off with one last chorus – just in case you haven’t sang along yet. Even though this might be a slightly different sound from what we expect from the guys, give it a chance. You will love it just as much.

The strong drum beat and fast guitar chords, start up “Take My Hand.” From the first “hey,” the song will remind you of an old Simple Plan – fun, energetic, and catchy. Yet the guys’ obvious maturity over the years makes this track stronger and better than anything they’ve done before. For the old Simple Plan fans that do not like the new sound, you’ll love this. Definitely the strongest track of the album.

Following is “The End.” This song is an example of Simple Plan taking the electronic sound too far. The verses do not sound like them at all. Even though the chorus and the bridge go back to the guitar driven Simple Plan sound, the two verses just feel out of place.

The next single “Your Love Is a Lie” is probably my favorite song of the album. Beginning with an acoustic first verse, the song becomes tighter as it progresses. This song is a perfect balance between the new sound and old sound. The chorus is extremely catchy and fun to sing along to. I can tell Simple Plan will get the come back success “When I’m Gone” failed to get them with this song.

“Save You” begins with a more mellow piano melody. This sweet song comes short from being a typical Simple Plan. The chorus is not as catchy even though the guitar melodies are well done. But this song will grow on you with time.

“Generation” begins with a pretty odd intro, but soon kicks in into a catchy guitar melody. The chorus is very energetic and fun. This is also a good incorporation of the new “techno/electronic” sound into their punk-rock vibe. The song is very catchy – it has a lot of potential to be an amazing live track.

“Time to Say Goodbye” brings back the old Simple Plan vibe again. From the beginning, this song is very reminiscent of their first album- especially the background vocals in the chorus. Yet the song is not strong instrumentally and it was a terrible choice to end the song in an acoustic note. This track just lacks that punch at the end that makes Simple Plan songs so great.

Every album has its corny love song – “I Can’t Wait Forever” fulfills that role. This song will definitely upset some Simple Plan fans because it sounds very boy-bandish. The guitar solo and string accompaniment is not something Simple Plan usually does. But after all, it is cheesy romance.

The mellow sound continues with “Holding On.” This song is a tad stronger than “I Can’t Wait Forever” but the instrumentals and background vocals are not tight enough. But I have to admit this song gets better with time.

“No Love” begins with a soft piano melody that is later picked up by guitar. The verses are sweet and the transition into the strong, rock chorus is very well done. This song uses the string accompaniment very well, making up for “I Can’t Wait Forever.” The lyrics could be a little better but the song is pretty inspirational melodically.

The album ends in a very strong note with “What If.” The melodies of this song perfectly transition from their soft sound to their strong rock vibe. The chorus is very catchy and energetic. The beginning melody is greatly incorporated throughout the song. The lyrics are also well written – probably the best of the whole album.

Overall, the album does live up to its expectations. Even though there were some songs that did not stand out, Simple Plan created some amazing songs. I do not have a problem with their sound experimentation but I have to admit I do prefer the old Simple Plan better. But their efforts are really well done.

Name: "Simple Plan"
Label: Atlantic
Release Date: Feb., 19 2008
My rating: 4.4 out of 5

Michelle MitchellCristina Carrazza is a staff writer with Musiqtone. You can contact her at cristinacarrazza@musiqtone.com or fill out this feedback form below.
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