Sound — 6
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.
Lyrics — 5
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.
Overall Impression — 6
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.