Review Summary: Plain and simple, this album rocks from start to finish.
Call it a matter of opinion, call it crazy even, but I actually really like this album. This release from the band has been the target of a lot of criticism, calling it "lazy," or "unoriginal." Honestly though, you have to ignore all the negative attention given towards this album. Plain and simple, this album rocks from start to finish, with each song complimenting the next, and each song being a good listen.
The first thing that comes to mind when hearing this album is "Sum 41 are a punk band again." With Chuck, the band seemed to dive pretty deep into the metal category. Maybe it was because Deryck Whibley, at the time, was the only guitarist in the band that was contributing to the writing side (Tom Thacker, a.k.a "Brown Tom" wasn't really part of the band yet, at least writing wise.) Either way, it pays off because every song, minus a few obvious tracks, have a very punk-y feel. Whether it is excellent cuts like Walking Disaster, March Of The Dogs, Pull The Curtain, Confusion And Frustration In Modern Times, or the title track, you will get a great dose of the punk aspect that was sorely missing in the majority of Chuck.
This album also has a fair bit of experimentation within the fourteen tracks (more depending on the edition of the album.) Dear Father is a very heartfelt song that tells of Deryck's father he never knew, with the song eventually cranking the volume towards the end. With Me kind of follows suit, but the subject matter is different, and the volume swells back and forth between loud choruses and more calm verses. Best Of Me is the standout among these tracks, and its also a pleasant surprise to hear a song that a lot of people can connect to as opposed to the obvious political driven tone of this album that might be hard to relate to or fully understand. A notable mention is Ma Poubelle, which is actually quite a funny song if you understand French (looking up the translated version works too.)
I have next to no problems with this album; the production is top notch, each instrument is solid and can hold their own ground, and until Screaming Bloody Murder was released, Sum 41 never played better. My only problem with the album is that sometimes the songs can sound a bit samey (due to the same power chords being repeated from song to song.) Being a big fan of the band, it is safe to say that this album is a worthy edition to any Sum fan's collection, and a worthy edition to any punk rock fan's collection in general. An excellent album from the first track to the last.