With their fifth studio album, Taking One for the Team, Simple Plan fuses their signature pop punk sounds with R&B influences to create a masterpiece that evokes both nostalgia and novelty with every track.

The French Canadian band collaborated with electronic music group 3OH!3 to craft the unique sounds of their latest tracks. The album juxtaposes upbeat melodies with melancholic lyrics to present an exclusive look into the future of the music genre.

With the opening chord of their first single “Boom”, Simple Plan takes us back to 2005 and the height of pop punk. “Boom” follows the classic pop punk formula of an infectious melody and fun lyrics to create an upbeat love song that is sure to have you singing along.

Standing out from the crowd, “Singing in the Rain” is an interesting fusion of reggae and pop punk. One might not imagine these two musical genres working together, but the vocals of Pierre Bouvier and R&B duo R. City flow seamlessly. The lyrics, steel drums, and electric guitars blend together to create a groovy, light hearted tune about keeping a positive outlook on life.

“I Don’t Wanna Be Sad”, the second single of Taking One For The Team, is quite possibly the best representation of the cultural shift in pop punk music. While it maintains a similar rock feel to “Boom”, its lyrics about wanting to be happy and overcoming sad days emphasize a tonal shift in Simple Plan’s music, as well as in the pop punk music genre. The music is no longer about being misunderstood, rejected, and angry, but about growing, moving on, and striving to be happy. “I Don’t Wanna Be Sad” is sure to resonate with the lifelong fans who have grown with the music.

The album comes to a close with two ballads, the most impactful being “Problem Child.” This acoustic bit takes a turn from the rest of the album’s upbeat tone, delving into a more personal place. The apologetic lyrics seemingly speak to a parental figure but are still highly relatable to the audience.

Overall Simple Plan has succeeded in creating a fun, yet profound, album. It shows the incredible talent of the group and their ability to diversify their sound, while still sticking true to their pop punk roots. Taking One for the Team is a strong addition to the Simple Plan’s discography and will appeal to both old and new fans.

by Mary Barnes

Written by Catherine Powell

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