Half great, catchy pop-punk, half terrible teenage trash.
After a three year wait since the band’s previous self-titled release, sugar-sweet pop-punk poster boys Simple Plan are back with their fourth album 'Get Your Heart On!'. For this record, Simple Plan have enlisted Canadian mainstream rock producer Brian Howes (Puddle of Mudd, Hinder), whose influence is (unfortunately) very evident.
'Get Your Heart On!' starts in typical Simple Plan fashion with the very teenage track “You Suck at Love”. If you can get past the terrible lyrics, this is a fun, punchy track to get the album started. The whole album features an odd mess of guest vocalists, the best being the catchy fun of Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on "Can’t Keep My Hands Off You", and the radio-friendly "Jetlag" with pop songstress Natasha Bedingfield. "Can’t Keep My Hands Off You" sounds like it could have come straight from Weezer’s ‘Raditude‘, and while it is abound with tacky lyrics and sugar-sweet ‘whoa-ohs’, it’s still a damn catchy track that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and one of the best on the album. First single "Jetlag" is a great track; catchy, emotive and alive with Simple Plan’s characteristic power-pop glory. "Freaking Me Out" features the vocals of All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, and is an irresistible synth-driven track. "Loser of the Year" hits the perfect mark for Simple Plan’s fan base, a defiant pop-punk anthem reminiscent of early Good Charlotte.
Unfortunately, from here there isn’t much else to love within 'Get Your Heart On!' While there’s some decent tracks amongst the mess of this album, the problem is the mass of terrible, throwaway filler like "Anywhere Else But Here" and "Gone Too Soon". Elsewhere there are tracks like "Summer Paradise"- horrible and ill-fitting, with guest vocals by K’Naan, trying far too hard to be a summery, acoustic Bruno Mars tune. "This Song Saved My Life" is a (perhaps very narcissistic) track with lyrics taken from letters Simple Plan received from fans, with some of those fans lending vocals. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite hit the emotional mark it’s aiming for, like a lot of 'Get Your Heart On!’s tracks.
Any Simple Plan album wouldn’t be complete without disgustingly cringe-worthy lyrics, and 'Get Your Heart On!' is no exception. Full of awful one-liners like “I’ve got a fridge full of champagne/ and I’m hanging out with Lil Wayne/ What’chu think about that”, it’s sometimes a little difficult to take this band seriously. That said, as much as Simple Plan are not everyone’s cup of tea, they had perfected their niche of sugary teenage pop-punk. And while there are glimmers of this in 'Get Your Heart On!', for the most part this is just another throwaway soft-rock record, overloaded with trying-too-hard-to-be-emotional tunes. A few great tracks amongst an otherwise terribly average album.
I wouldn't suggest this for anyone who isn't a Simple Plan fan, as it's as cringe-worthy as all the band's other releases. Otherwise, there's a few great, catchy tracks on this record, but the rest is mainstream soft rock trash.
1. You Suck at Love
2. Can't Keep My Hands Off You (feat. Rivers Cuomo)
3. Jet Lag (feat. Natasha Bedingfield)
5. Loser of the Year
6. Anywhere Else But Here
7. Freaking Me Out (feat. Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low)
8. Summer Paradise (feat. K'naan)
9. Gone Too Soon
10. Last One Standing
11. This Song Saved My Life