Posted in Blogging, Simple Plan

And they’re back! Again! (Like six months ago…)

2022: the year Simple Plan released the best album they’ve ever released (bar Still Not Getting Any… ‘cos reasons)! HARDER THAN IT LOOKS – released: 6 May 2022

It’s been six long years of waiting for the diehard Simple Plan fan and let me tell you, the wait was definitely worth it. Harder Than It Looks is an album that all long term fans will absolutely love. And I don’t think it’s hyperbole to state that as fact.

Author in natural habitat 26.12.2022

It’s also been probably six long months of waiting to have the mental capacity to sit down and type up this review. I was planning on posting this after I first listened to it, however, life happened. But, even after this amount of time my initial thoughts still stand.

6.05.2022 – Harder Than It Looks is a tribute to what the band has created in their twenty-plus years of being a band. I feel like the album is a mix of every album they’ve released with some songs reminiscent of Still Not Getting Any whilst others vibe off the self-titled and GYHO. There is even one track, Best Day of My Life, that feels like it hearkens back to Pierre and Chuck’s Reset days, pre-SP. And then a couple of songs that have a fresh sound that the band hasn’t done yet, but still with a hint of the past echoing through them. It’s definitely a roller coaster ride that I don’t want to get off.

The songs that I loved after my first listen all the way through: Anxiety, Iconic, Slow Motion (and of course, Congratulations and The Antidote are firm faves too).

The timing of Harder Than It Looks could not be more appropriate. It came out just when another wave of a certain little virus went through where I lived, and I was a little overwhelmed by the day-to-day life. And a certain track from this new offering spoke eloquently of where I, and many others, were positioned mentally and emotionally. Anxiety is that song. I will let the lyrics speak for themselves.

The pressure comes, I can feel it now
I’m just another tragic case of
The only one I was missing out
Comparisons I can’t escape from

All these voices circling my head
(Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh)
I wish I was someone else instead
‘Cause it all just brings me down

Anxiety is killing me
All of these expectations
Are shaking up my sanity
I’m getting so tired of faking now
It’s all so much that I can’t breathe

Thеre must be something wrong with mе
Reality is killing me
It’s giving me, anxiety

Get away, get away, get away, get away
Get away from me
Anxiety, anxiety

I try to run, gotta separate
It’s everywhere, it’s all around me
I try to sleep but I’m wide awake
‘Cause every dream is filled with envy

Let’s turn everything, everything off (Turn everything off)
Don’t ever, don’t ever look back (Don’t ever look back)
Let’s turn everything, everything off (Turn everything off)
Don’t ever, don’t ever look back
‘Cause it all just brings me down

At the end of May I caught COVID-19 for the first time – yes, I’ve had it twice – and Simple Plan’s music was once again a great source of comfort, along with my faith in God, and my love for a certain composer… *cough*LinManuelMiranda*cough*. But, this post is about Simple Plan and their new album.

It’s been quite some time since I listened to the album for the first time, but here are my thoughts on the album as I listen to it for the umpteenth time, track-by-track.

Wake Me Up When This Nightmare’s Over – This track opens the whole album. The soft piano opening draws you in to listen and though it’s not a favourite of mine, it is a solid SP offering. The lyrics resonate as they can speak of specific circumstances, but at the same time are generic enough that each listener can relate it to their own circumstances – eg. “I can’t believe this mess we’re in / Tell me where do I begin? / ‘Cause it’s making my head spin / And I can just feel it.”

Ruin My Life (feat. Deryck Whibley) – Whenever the band feature other artists they always hit it right out of the park. I was never much of a fan of Sum41; however, his vocals fit well with this track. Ruin My Life is an anthem to all those bullies and naysayers who put one down in the past. An anthem to us rising above them and proving them wrong. (Sorry, I don’t mean to disappoint you, but you didn’t ruin my life.)

The Antidote – The first single the band released from the album, prior to the release. I fell in love with it from the first listen.

Million Pictures of You This is such a beautiful sappy romantic song.

Anxiety – Pierre said this song was influenced by his own journey with debilitating anxiety and that is oddly comforting. Knowing that we are not alone in our struggles (lyrics are above)

Congratulations – This track is quintessentially SP. I really don’t have the words.

Iconic – This track gets me totally pumped!

Best Day of My Life This song hearkens back to Pierre and Chuck’s Reset Days.

Slow Motion “… one of those whiteboard ideas Chuck had… idea of love at first sight. … This is gonna sound silly, but when I hear this chorus, it just makes me want to cry. I was driving…and I was sitting in my car with tears coming down my face, and I’m like, ‘What is wrong with me? I’m listening to my own music and I’m crying in my car!’”Pierre Bouvier

Two – From the general all encompassing song at the beginning to the extremely specific song about split homes this whole album is amazing. The band is not afraid to tackle difficult topics, but do it with their typical pop, rock and pop punk sensibilities with a few new flavours sprinkled throughout.

I love this album so much. I love this band so much.

Ten out of ten for always being my favourite band.

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