Like many albums of this caliber, I was quite hesitant to give the CD a spin. Two options came to mine, either the Canadian boys grew up and stopped making balls jokes, or they stayed the same and kept with the on-running jokes and juvenile tendencies.
Tracks one and two sound like Simple Plan has been hanging with Sum 41 and (new) Good Charlotte a bit too much in their free time, but "End" is the first that really grabbed my attention, Fall Out Boy-esque chorus. "Your Love is a Lie" sounds very 90s boy band, Simple Plan also says, "Fuck," I'm pretty sure that's a first.
First thought when I heard "Generation" was Oh shit! Am I still listening to the same CD!? Go Simple Plan for finally finding a dark side, with some very subtle hip-hop influences, and some much less subtle punk influences. The Simple Plan you know and (maybe) love comes back with "Time to say Goodbye," in generic pop punk fashion.
Here's where the CD turns to a slower side killing the vibe from "Generation." If you read my reviews, you'll know I have a problem with forced rhyming like... "Breathing" & "bleeding" and you hear just that in "I Can Wait Forever." It attempts to sound epic but falls pretty flat, plus it sounds quite country, and I don't know how I feel about that.
Pierre’s got some pipes on him, and you finally get to hear a glimpse of them in "Holding On." "No Love" keeps up with the string of slow songs, and I want to fast forward in hopes that the final song will pick up the tempo, a few phrases really stuck out in the song, but not enough to make up for yet another slow song.
That epic thing they were going for in "I Can Wait Forever" is achieve with "What If" running at almost 6 minutes long it's an impressive mix of Pierre's powerful voice, violins, heavy overlapping guitars, tempo changes, staked vocals, and basically everything you would never associate with old school Simple Plan.
I expected this CD to be a blatant rip off of new New Found Glory or something of that caliber, but instead you get a CD where a band is coming into their own, growing up and moving on. This CD isn't necessarily brilliant, it's no Blink - Self Titled, but it gets me excited to see what these boys can do with their next album.
3.25 out of 5 [CO]