Sum 41
13 Voices


3.5
great

Review

by Simon CONTRIBUTOR (232 Reviews)
October 9th, 2016 | 309 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Revolution for the elderly.

2016 has definitely been a strange year for music; a good year, but one that has had an overwhelming insurgence of old punk bands bringing out new material. A movement in a genre that sees wave after wave of well established punk bands from 20+ years ago coming back to the fold to have their say on things. And who can blame them, with the current state on politics around the world, there is certainly plenty to revolt over. The thing is though, this "punk revolution" has hardly set the world on fire, and the albums these bands are bringing out hardly set a new standard of writing for the genre. Nor have a lot of the bands really said anything wothwhile, that stands next to the worlds current problems; it's a disappointingly wasted opportunity, that -- if looked at cynically -- just seems like old bands are capitalising on a genre that has come back to the mainstream just to fill their pockets once more before it dims out again. This is a bleak way of looking at things, but something I can't shift given the quality of the albums seen thus far in 2016.

Ultimately, the problem is this: the wave of old punkers coming back with a batch of new tunes are largely conveying their music in a creepy manner. Which is understandably down to the genre's tropes; things you can't really move away from without losing something the fans loved about their old music. You can't stray too far away from it, yet a late 30s-40+ year old talking about a girl or a fart joke just feels jarring and strange to listen to. If a band from way back when was lucky enough to avoid the fart jokes being a core staple of their music, they have more of a chance doing something with crediblity, but so far I've only heard bands trying their damnedest to sound fresh and contemporary and failing, because there is just something about how they try and tackle the situation that leaves the music feeling out of touch with the world around them.

Sum 41's new album is probably the best comeback I've heard this year for the genre. This is down to two things: firstly, the band have always had a free spirit and playful edge to their lyrics, but ones which made them lucky enough to avoid the really bad common denominator jokes. They've occasionally had a somewhat light-hearted political side to their lyrics; and this is still evident here, which see the band touching on to some relevancy with things currently going on in today's world with tracks like "Fake My Own Death" and "There Will Be Blood". But most importantly, the album has lyrics that feel genuine and honest and go into problems Deryck has been dealing with in between the comeback album: tracks like "Breaking the Chain", "War" and "Better Days" feel honest and from the heart. The album very rarely slips up with anything cliche or cheesy and everything is constructed well. The second thing 13 Voices does right is it sticks to its guns and caters to its core fan base; this isn't a collection of songs that try and pander to a newer generation -- there's no sign of any dodgy synth work, autotune or lyrics that feel so out of touch and contrived. Everything is simply laid out and grounded on 13 Voices, and this is where a lot of credit is given to the album.

The drawback to this album is simply that if you didn't like the band, you won't like them here either. It doesn't pull out any curve balls, it doesn't try to sound like something it isn't -- it is simply a Sum 41 album. And one that takes all the best bits from the highest points of their career and rolls it up into 12 tracks. It's a concise, air tight LP with little let up. "God Save Us All (Death to POP)" is the only track that feels a little flat and repetitive, every thing else on here is full of energy and enjoyable. It's ironic to think that an album made with little deviation from the band's aesthetics could be more fresh and exciting than an album made by another punk band desperately trying to push the boat out with new styles. The most punk thing about 13 Voices is that it doesn't give a *** if you like it or not. It's Sum 41 through and through, and one that sees the band back on the right track after their ropey 2011 offering.

Great

Editions: MP3, C̶D̶, V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

Packaging: N/A

Special Edition: Acoustic bonus tracks of "War" and "Breaking the Chain".



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2016


15084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As always, constructive criticism welcome guys.

Digging: HEALTH - VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR

DivergentThinking
October 9th 2016


6041 Comments


"2016 has definitely been a strange year for music"

*2016 has definitely been an amazing year for music*

fixed :D

AsleepInTheBack
October 9th 2016


5917 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Solid review man, though the intro about this year and the direction of punk bands is arguably a little too long. Good job nonetheless

PumpBoffBag
October 9th 2016


935 Comments


whoa generous rating.

still, decent review, take a pos

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2016


15084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys. Suprised by how solid this album was. I might also mention, I'm really not massive on these guys at all. I used to listen to the singles back in the day, but that was about it.

DivergentThinking
October 9th 2016


6041 Comments


This was actually the first pop punk band I ever heard, because they were also featured on the original 2003 Spider-man soundtrack, which I had as a kid. Good times :]

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2016


15084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice. They've had some decent tunes over the years.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 9th 2016


29576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I more or less agree with this review

Digging: Copeland - Blushing

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2016


15084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ha cheers sowing. Glad you liked it as much as me.

bananatossing
October 9th 2016


691 Comments


Good review. What's up with that average, though? This sounds pretty good so far.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 9th 2016


29576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I think people just have a negative association with this band and prematurely rate this lowly because they literally haven't done anything good since Chuck.

Snake.
October 9th 2016


21389 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this band is still dead to me

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2016


15084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn snake

DatsNotDaMetulz
October 9th 2016


3795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2.7 average? Come on guys this is no way near as bad as Underclass Hero or Screaming Bloody Murder.

Snide
October 9th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Pos

This album rules. Great review too.

Snake.
October 9th 2016


21389 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

underclass hero isn't even that bad it's just very unoriginal

VaxXi
October 9th 2016


4392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

almost every song off of it ripped of some band from 2006, which is way worse than just being lame.

Snide
October 9th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Underclass Hero is a hard 4/5 bordering on a 4.5

Snake.
October 9th 2016


21389 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

yeah but it's not like pop punk bands weren't ripping each other off already

Snide
October 9th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Let's be real, Underclass Hero is American Idiot lite, and I have no issues with that.



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