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Simple Plan - Get Your Heart On!
Joe DeAndrea  -  21 Jun 2011 06:47:PM
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In the lifespan of a pop band, they usually churn out an album or two, do pretty well on one of them and then bomb the other. They're subsequently dropped from their label, eventually break up, and then fall into a bottomless black pit of musical nothingness. Simple Plan, although highly successful, also looked like they could possibly be seeing a similar type of fate. After exploding into the music scene with the now double platinum debut, No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls, they followed it up with a so-so Still Not Getting Any. Then what seemed like a point of no return, they released the abysmal self-titled album four years later. What else could a new album possibly sound like after their take on a weird pop-punk-rock-hip-hop hybrid? Could they find any way to one-up their previous post-apocalyptic-burning-city album cover? Well, the result is a return to form album, of course. I mean, it's what everyone else is doing these days. It's almost a natural progression now at this point. But that's not to sound like I'm discrediting it. If it sounds good, I couldn't care less. And the truth of the matter is, Simple Plan's new album, Get Your Heart On!, is the best album of their career, and one of the best in the genre thus far in 2011. With the record's cheeky title (it's a boner joke, in case you needed that cleared up for you), it's obvious that they're not going to be taking too many risks with this one (yet there are a few surprises). "You Suck at Love" kicks off Get Your Heart On!, further proving the album's purpose. The chorus is monstrous and is definitely the biggest hook the band has ever written; vocalist Pierre Bouvier sounds better than ever. "Loser of the Year" is as vintage-Simple Plan as you'll get. The song maintains its pop-punk aspect without going overboard on any cheesiness, while "Jet Lag" is Simple Plan's first big single in a long time, almost in vein of No Pads' "I'd Do Anything." Not as rocking, but packs the same similar punch. Featuring Natasha Bedingfield (the "Unwritten" gal for you U.S. folk), if any single were to throw Simple Plan back into the limelight, it'd be "Jet Lag." Get Your Heart On! features a variety of guest vocalists. Weezer's Rivers Cuomo adds his quirkiness to the anthemic "Can't Keep My Hands Off You," while All Time Low crooner Alex Gaskarth lends a verse to the dancy "Freaking Me Out," which ends up being a bit of an underwhelming song after expecting so much from it. Rapper K'naan adds his swag to the reggae inspired "Summer Paradise." Even though the "rapper on a pop song" gimmick has grown stale rather quickly, it surprisingly works and sounds like a song that Plain White T's wish they could write. Along with breezy summer tunes and numerous guest appearances, Get Your Heart On! also has its fair share of mellower tracks like the arena rock "Astronaut," and the somber "Gone Too Soon." Although I was hoping for an album full of in-your-face hooks and melodies, I still welcome the softer ones here. Unlike most pop bands and their ballads, the ones here don't sound like they were just thrown on for the sake of it. They're just as catchy and strong as the more uptempo ones. Get Your Heart On! finishes with the ambitious closer, "This Song Saved My Life," marking a suitable end to an album that may have saved their credibility. Its been an interesting career for Simple Plan, and now with Get Your Heart On!, it doesn't seem like it will be over any time soon. Get Your Heart On! is a Simple Plan album -- it's an obvious statement, but one that some people will have trouble realizing anyway. Because of this, it's still one of the poppiest records you'll hear all year. The production is big, and the lyrics are ridiculous. But Simple Plan has done their dirty work, and to quote Planes, Trains & Automobiles, "What you see is what you get." It would be foolish to expect anything more.

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