Released: Dec 3, 2013
Genre: Pop Punk, Alternative Rock
Number Of Tracks: 7
Following the path the band has been making for itself for quite a while now, they continue to experiment in the area somewhere between pop punk and straight pop music.
Get Your Heart On - The Second Coming! [EP]Featured review by: UG Team, on december 10, 2013 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Where do we get started in talking about Simple Plan and their new EP, "Get Your Heart On - The Second Coming!" ... well, the songs included on the EP were originally demos of songs that didn't make it onto their last album, "Get Your Heart On!", thus the name of the EP. For those of you checking out Simple Plan for the first time, the band is technically a French-Canadian pop-punk band formed in 2002, though their earlier work was known for having specifically the Southern Cali pop-punk sound to it. Since then, while the band has improved their overall songwriting, they have also experimented further into a more pop-oriented sound. To the band's credit, they have maintained their original line-up for the entire life-cycle of the band, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. There are 7 tracks on this EP with a total runtime of just under 25 minutes.
The album opens up with the track "Ordinary Life," which is a really high energy track that reminds me why the band was compared to other pop-punk bands like Good Charlotte earlier in their career. The song's theme is basically that the songwriter refuses to live an ordinary life, but instead is going to "live." "Rest of Us" is the next track on the album, which kind of flips the switch over to the more pop offerings on the album. The song is supposed to be a ballad to all the "freaks and losers," but we're getting really close to the realm of this being written for "Glee," by the sound of it. "Outta My System" is up next, which is about going out and partying in order to get an ex-girlfriend off of the songwriter's mind. This song is almost an equal marriage of pop music and pop-punk. "Fire in My Heart" is up next, and this song reminds me almost immediately of something by Owl City to the point that I tried to research to see if Owl City was somehow involved with this track. As far as I could find they were not involved, but this song is pretty much unrecognizable to the original pop-punk sound the band was known for on their first releases. The next track, "In," is another track trying to find a more perfect marriage between pop-punk and straightforward pop music. I'm not really buying into this sound at all - it seems their original sound already had a sufficient degree of pop in it, and now it is just becoming excessive and is more like a pop band with very mild punk elements in it. The fact that this review has made me use the words "mild" and "punk" together says a lot about the EP. "Lucky One" is next up, which seems to be a fairly straightforward acoustic broken-hearted ballad. The album closes out with the track "Try," which is a pop track without any real punk influences left in it, being primarily driven by piano, keyboard and synths until the end of the track - the sampled hand-clapping seems like it took away from the song's sincerity. At the end of the day, this EP is pretty much on track with where the band was with the release of "Get Your Heart On!". // 6
Lyrics: Pierre Bouvier provides lead vocals for the band, as well as being the primary songwriter for the band. Pierre's voice isn't overly impressive, but it is very sufficient for what he's doing. I suspect there is more auto-tune being used on the album besides the overt uses you hear a few times on the album, but sadly this is the direction music in general is going lately. As far as the lyrical themes on the album, I felt like a lot of the lyrics aren't really authentic anymore. Pierre is writing a lot of songs about breakup, alienation, being a freak and a loser, while at the same time being in a successful band, being in a happy marriage (from what I can gather online), and having two children. Say what you like, but I think a band's lyrics should be authentic from their experiences for the most part and not written for a specific audience, necessarily. Here are some lyrics from the track "Fire in My Heart": "I betcha didn't know, you started up a chain reaction/ I saw no intention on your face/ It might have been some kind of/ chemical attraction/ I felt a spark, it left a mark I can't erase/ Its like oh oh/ Something like a bolt of lightning/ Oh oh, It's going on inside/ Cause I'm burning up it ain't no joke/ And all my cells are growing old/ Caught up in a blaze with no way out/ And if my self-control goes up in smoke/ One more hit, I get so stoked that I/ I'm glowing in the dark/ You lit a fire in my heart." The lyrics aren't necessarily bad, but I can see why they may not have been on the album, but instead were saved for an EP. // 6
Overall Impression: At times, I really enjoyed the energy of Simple Plan on this EP, but the whole thing felt kind of faked in the long run. I couldn't really get behind these guys in their mid-thirties singing about being adolescent misfits. I didn't necessarily hate the album, but I couldn't find a lot of positives to draw me into it, either. My favorite song on the album would probably be the opening track, "Ordinary Life," which I'm basing primarily off the energy of the track. I hope that the band takes some steps in the near future to find an authentic voice in their music. // 6
Get Your Heart On - The Second Coming! [EP]
RaysGotThis, on december 13, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Brandon of the UG Team's review is an accurate description of Simple Plan's latest - old fans or listeners looking for the early-2000s-style pop-punk of SP's first couple releases may find themselves disappointed with the amount of pure pop being offered on "Get Your Heart On - The Second Coming!" Simple Plan have clearly grown and changed since their debut, both in songwriting and sound, and perhaps that growth has taken them toward a more pop-intensive sound. Maybe not - I personally will reserve that judgment until their next release. But taken in the context of a pop release, "GYHO-TSC" seems pretty standard fare: hooky, bouncy, and full of unabashed talk of love, heartbreak, partying, and not fitting in. Taken for what it is, this album is fairly average - not terribly impressive, but not terrible, either. If you're looking for an old school SP sound, try "Ordinary Life" and "In" - they're the most energetic and guitar-oriented tracks on the EP. // 5
Lyrics: As Brandon pointed out, with the SP guys now in their 30s, the lyrical content isn't terribly impressive, even as pop-punk goes. Instead, I chose to look at the growth in their songwriting since their debut "No Pads, No Helmets... Just Balls": while their first album read like fairly typical teenage pining and angst, while their later releases show a marked shift in perspective and more polished songwriting. Simple Plan now seem to see themselves as a voice for angsty kids, rather than as those kids themselves. While I can respect that, it does come across as heavy-handed at times, as Brandon pointed out.
A quick breakdown:
"Ordinary Life" is an energetic song about being bored with a live-to-work lifestyle - basically a (slightly) more adult version of "The Worst Day Ever" from their debut, and the most musically interesting.
"The Rest of Us" is a poppy anthem for "the awkward, geeks, losers" etc. To feel confident and unashamed. The lyrics are heavy handed, but the song is sunny and upbeat.
"Outta My System" is about partying and trying to keep distracted from thinking about a breakup. Again, not very mature subject matter, but the perspective here shows tinges of adulthood.
"Fire in My Heart" is another very poppy song about infatuation. Again, the lyrics are nothing amazing, but considering how juvenile their lyrics have been in the past, their growth is somewhat - somewhat - refreshing.
In harkens back to SP's self-titled album musically, which makes it one of the more standout and interesting tracks on the EP. Lyrically it's a pretty standard song about a relationship that seems to be on the rocks.
"Lucky One" is an acoustic song about being bummed from having a difficult life - at first glance, it seems to be very contrived and inauthentic, but considering how the members of SP live pretty good lives, it's obvious that this song was written to commiserate with fans that are depressed or have troubles.
Try is an apologetic song about regretting being an unreliable and disappointing person, and wanting to make it up to someone Very sappy and sentimental, both in composition and lyrics, like every other closing song on a SP album. // 5
Overall Impression: "Get Your Heart On - The Second Coming!" was released as a holdover between albums and is comprised of songs that didn't make the cut for their last full-length, and it shows - "Get Your Heart On!" was much poppier than older offerings, but it was somewhat more balanced in sound; this EP feels overloaded with pop sound and production, and while potentially enjoyable in that context, doesn't hold up particularly well against SP's older releases. Even so, it's clear that they're making music that they want to make, and I personally give them credit for that. But unless you're a diehard fan, this EP probably isn't going to do much for you. // 6