Lunch. Drunk. Love.Featured review by: UG Team, on september 10, 2013 4 of 9 people found this review helpful
Sound: American punk rock group Bowling For Soup are now looking to make a comeback with their first new studio album in over two years. The band first introduced themselves back in 1994 with the release of their self-titled debut, but mostly thanks to the album being released under the band's own record label and limited to only 3,000 copies it failed to bring the name "Bowling For Soup" into the mainstream. It was the same case with the band's second studio album, "Cell Mates," and soon the group decided to partner with a small record label by the name of FFROE: however met the same amount of success.
It wouldn't be until 2002 that Bowling For Soup would receive any amount of substantial recognition, albeit the recognition they did receive for their sixth studio album, "Drunk Enough to Dance," was very noticeable. The album's only single, "Girl All the Bad Boys Want," earned Bowling For Soup a Grammy nomination, and from there the band only moved upward. The band earned multiple opportunities to write the theme songs for such television shows and major motion pictures as "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," "Sky High" and "Summerland."
Bowling For Soup earned another Grammy nomination in 2004 for their single "1985," and later would receive major mainstream airplay for such songs as "High School Never Ends" and "S-S-S-Saturday." Now the pop punk group are making their return to the music world with their new studio album, titled "Lunch. Drunk. Love.", which has Bowling For Soup delivering a collection of new compositions which are comprised of all the same elements as their earlier outings.
Such songs as "Real" are built around complimentary synthesizer playing, distortion soaked guitar chords and colorful vocal melodies, which remains true to the style previously showcased on Bowling For Soup's more successful singles. In particular, the chord progressions and lyrics are very repetitive and redundant, and fail to capture the listener's attention for very long. // 6
Lyrics: Lead vocalist Jaret Reddick gives a very familiar performance throughout "Lunch. Drunk. Love." Jaret doesn't take any chances when it comes to his lyrical delivery on the new album; he instead stays true to the same style showcased on the group's previous releases. While his singing style remains just as intact as it first did nineteen years ago, Jaret's lyrical performance is incredibly lacking. In such songs as "From the Rooftops," Jaret can be heard repeating the same set of lyrics for three minutes, such as "Follow your heart/ F--k everybody else/ Follow your heart/ F--k everybody else." When you have an album that is heavily comprised of repetitive lyrics, guitar riffs and synthesizer work, it makes for an incredibly dull listening experience. // 5
Overall Impression: With their new studio album, Bowling For Soup give a performance that fails to capture the listener's attention. "Lunch. Drunk. Love." is comprised of thirteen different compositions, which all somehow manage to sound the same, thanks to repeating lyrical content and uncreative guitar work. Despite the numerous negative sides to this album, "Lunch. Drunk. Love." does have some better qualities. The production is spot on, and is of the same quality that you would expect from a mainstream pop punk group. And lead vocalist Jaret Reddick sounds just as good, if not better, than he did when the band first started out. Unfortunately, the lack of creativity in the musical side of this album outweighs it's few positives, and in the end we have an album that fails to live up to it's expectations.
Lunch. Drunk. Love.
UG Team, on september 18, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Bowling For Soup's newest effort in spreading happiness, "Lunch. Drunk. Love.", does just what it was meant to. When I go out and buy a Bowling For Soup album, I expect clever lyrics about crappy relationships, drinking, and the occasional serious topic from a self-proclaimed fart joke band. This album delivers. It was created with a heavy focus on input from the fans. Everything from t-shirts, album names, and even vocal contributions were left up to the supporting fans on Pledge Music. When the fans steer so much of the process, it's no surprise that the album feels so much like the other albums the fan base has grown to love. Why fix it if it isn't broken? The album is very well produced and has a good sound quality. Although the instrumentals sound like they could be b-sides to any of the other albums, they are still fresh enough for a positive listening experience. Despite the very "Hangover You Don't Deserve" vibe, this album introduces some new musical ventures. In "Since We Broke Up," Jaret blasts out an almost screamed vocal that contrasts with his usually static stellar performance. The distortion in his voice adds to the emotional impact of the song and creates a sound unlike most of their previous work. There is a lot of influence from Jaret's side projects since Linus Of Hollywood and Ryan Hamilton co-wrote a number of tracks. This also adds to the unique vibe of this album. Overall, this is a classic Bowling For Soup album with the occasional unexpected flare. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics in these tracks sometimes lack the Bowling For Soup feel, but they are still great. The tone of the album tends more towards seriousness than humor. There is an edge on a number of the tracks that isn't always present in the happy go lucky writing of the group. Jaret drops the F-bomb more times than the other albums, but it doesn't feel overused. It just adds to the punch of the lyrics. Edgy isn't a bad change. However, BFS still plays to the crowd by throwing in fun tracks like "Couple of Days" and "Normal Chicks." These are drowning in clever lyrics that will leave you chuckling throughout. Although he denies that most of the tracks are autobiographical, Jaret's lyrics have a subtle bitterness that seem to be linked to recent troubles. At times, the lyrics lack smooth flow but it doesn't detract from the singable tunes that characterize the best Bowling For Soup albums. // 8
Overall Impression: Bowling For Soup can be more of an acquired taste, but these tracks are still a great album because they offer the serious tone to contrast with the humor that turns off some listeners. The most stand out tracks are "Since We Broke Up" and "Envy" which offer some of the more unusual Bowling For Soup sounds. Since "We Broke Up" features the semi-screamed vocals that add to the edge of the album while "Envy" features an acoustic alternate chorus which ends the energetic song on a very somber note that changes the entire lyrical meaning of the song. When Jaret puts his heart and soul into a vocal, it sends shivers down your spine.
I only have a couple points that I didn't care for on the album. The closing track and a couple others feel very centered around Jaret's life. They are still good songs, but I feel weird singing along to such personal songs when I don't have a connection with them. Also, I'm not a big fan of profanity so the edgy use of them isn't great when I'm singing along. However, the band released a clean version which features alternate lyrics rather than censorship. This solves the problem and leaves me entirely happy.
I may have my friends steal this album so I can buy another. Although it's tough to beat a group's first great album, this new release can spar on the same level as "Drunk Enough to Dance" and "Hangover You Don't Deserve." I'm sure it will be on repeat for quite some time to come. // 9