Simple Plan
Harder Than It Looks


2.5
average

Review

by Jesper L. STAFF
May 8th, 2022 | 51 replies


Release Date: 05/06/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: canadian weekend, pt 2: haunted by the ghost of a blue past

Unsurprisingly, my taste in music as a twelve year old was questionable at best: my MP3 player was loaded with nothing but the very best of Pearl Jam, Fleetwood Mac and Simple Plan. Sure, those first two bands might be slightly better than the latter, but I’m willing to die a lonely death on the hill that Simple Plan have released some excellent songs. I won’t list all, eh, five of them, but ‘Outta My System’ is an excellently dumb party anthem, and I’d be lying if I said that ‘Holding On’s magnificent riff didn’t accompany me on many sad teenage nights. Anyway: six years after the band’s truly awful exploration of all things millenial pop on Taking One for the Team, the incredibly mature Canadians have returned. Their new album is called Harder Than It Looks. Yep.

Let’s start with the bad: Simple Plan are still absolutely horrendous at incorporating elements of post-2005 pop. ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Iconic’ feature dreadfully repetitive choruses, painfully misplaced horns, and not a single hint of energy or authenticity. While they might be slightly less offensive than previous smash hits such as ‘I Don’t Wanna Go to Bed (feat. Nelly)’ or ‘Can’t Keep My Hands off You (feat. Rivers Cuomo)’, Harder Than It Looks’ lowlights are painfully easy to identify. Simultaneously, they do provide a(n unenjoyable) break from the record’s monotony of vaguely competent pop rock: pretty much every single other track fails to stand out from the pack. This album is Simple Plan Simple-Planning on autopilot: there’s an abundance of overly simplistic yet catchy riffs, big-capital-b choruses, and some of the whiniest vocals you’ll hear all year.

Yet, Simple Plan on autopilot is much better than Simple Plan attempting to achieve literally anything else. ‘Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)’ presents a pleasantly nostalgic riff; ‘Million Pictures of You’ is an even more explicitly nostalgic collection of self-references; ‘The Antidote’ boasts an energetically memorable chorus without incorporating too many lyrical cringés. At the same time, Harder Than It Looks mostly seems to function as a reminder for old fans that the band can still craft some enjoyable hooks. There’s nothing to the album outside of this; there’s no element to draw in new listeners or keep the old ones coming back. It just kind of exists. Simple Plan just kind of exist, but then again, so do I.



Recent reviews by this author
Ethel Cain Preacher's DaughterSilverstein Misery Made Me
daine Quantum JumpingPrince Daddy and The Hyena Prince Daddy And The Hyena
Hatchie Giving the World AwayJenna and the Janes Earth Dog Year
user ratings (23)
2.4
average
other reviews of this album
ghostalgeist (2)
Hope you're happy now with the little that you got....



Comments:Add a Comment 
JesperL
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2022


4436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZaLXmkbO3E

Digging: Dream Dolphin - Dolphins Talk to You

parksungjoon
May 8th 2022


42920 Comments


damn bro this band still exists?

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2022


14863 Comments


^ I was literally about to comment the same thing. I had no idea they were even putting out another album

parksungjoon
May 8th 2022


42920 Comments


more objectivity fodder for sput i guess

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2022


4436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

really disappointed you guys aren't keeping up with the objectively greatest bands out there smh

parksungjoon
May 8th 2022


42920 Comments


honey... there isnt a single thing im keeping up with haha

notagenius
May 8th 2022


740 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

considering they keep making music for teens, which makes sense. it's a good record to say. songs like best day of my life does have the power of nostalgia to me. Even though I no longer follow them, I'm still glad they're still around.

Digging: Rumspringer - Empty Towers

conesmoke
May 8th 2022


7213 Comments


Doo you ever feel like breaking dooowwwwwn

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2022


17568 Comments


scooby dooby doo

Digging: The Wrens - Overnight Success

Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2022


27361 Comments


Better than the new Silverstein at least, haha

Digging: Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2022


47469 Comments


my taste in music as a twelve year old was questionable at best: my MP3 player was loaded with nothing but the very best of Pearl Jam, Fleetwood Mac and Simple Plan

lmfao pos

Digging: Dream Dolphin - Dolphins Talk to You

parksungjoon
May 8th 2022


42920 Comments


at least one, possibly even two of those is good tho

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2022


17568 Comments


simple plan and who else

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2022


14863 Comments


Fleetwood Jam

Mort.
May 8th 2022


17767 Comments


your 12 year old music taste was better than mine thats for sure

Digging: As Cities Burn - Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest

Pikazilla
May 8th 2022


22989 Comments


aoty

notagenius
May 9th 2022


740 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I probably heard Perfect on the radio when I was 12. loved it.



I never dismiss or deny what I used to like. Once it has brought me joy, I will always be grateful for it. Even if I don't like it anymore, I think I have the responsibility to give them credits and respect forever. Doing so would instead make me proud.

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2022


4436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"your 12 year old music taste was better than mine thats for sure"

it's all been downhill from there so dw

Pikazilla
May 9th 2022


22989 Comments


nah, jesper you're among the last line of good taste defense

bloc
May 9th 2022


68472 Comments


These guys are 50 years old and still doing the double entendres as album names

Digging: Ibibio Sound Machine - Electricity



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy