By Simple Plan
For a fourth album, you would imagine that a band would have matured somewhat, but from the obvious title innuendo to the final note, it is clear that this is not the case with 'Get Your Heart On!' which only proves that despite a career spanning twelve years, Simple Plan are not a 'mature' band, and to pretend to be otherwise would be ridiculous.
Instead, their high-octane sugary pop-punk is perfectly timed to coincide with the beginning of summer, with the deluxe version offering three extra tracks, including an alternative version of 'Jet Lag,' sang mostly in French and featuring fellow Montr?-native Marie-Mai, and a better-than-the-original acoustic version of 'Loser Of The Year', a song that is so typically Simple Plan from the melodic backing vocals to the punchy chorus, and easily amongst the strongest on the album. We were given a taster of what the album would sound like prior to release with opening track 'You Suck At Love' being one that they have been incorporating into their live shows for around a year now, with many fans clamouring for its release ever since initially hearing it, certainly something the boys should consider playing more often.
The sheer variation in their selection of guest vocalists shouldn't work, indeed the over-produced 'Freaking Me Out', which features Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low is distinctly underwhelming, but for the most part simply differentiates this album from their previous efforts (Only two collaborations throughout the rest of their career up to this point), and ensures that the no doubt excitable teenage listeners don't get too bored. In fact, the appearance of Weezer's Rivers Cuomo - who also co-wrote some of the album - on cheeky single 'Can't Keep My Hands Off You' helps to showcase cheesy pop-punk at its very best, and the back and forth narrative between lead singer Pierre Bouvier and British singer Natasha Bedingfield on second single 'Jet Lag' helps to create a wistful, longing feeling without losing the soaring chorus that Simple Plan are most famous for.
Although Simple Plan can hardly be applauded for their originality on this album, even using the somewhat overdone rapper-on-a-pop-punk song that has been so prominent over the past year, by featuring K'naan on possibly the best track on the album, the breezy, almost reminiscent of Jason Mraz, 'Summer Paradise', they pull it off simply because of how well it has been done, not bothering to change what has been so successful for them on their previous three albums.
It is a sign of the times, however, that Bouvier, along with drummer Chuck Comeau composed a song entirely through social networking site Twitter, with Comeau asking fans 'How our music has made you feel' and the two creating a song using the replies they were sent. The resulting song 'This Song Saved My Life' is unexpectedly hard-hitting, and lyrics like 'I was broken, I was choking, I was lost, this song saved my life' and 'Sometimes I feel like you've known me forever' show just how much this band means to many of their fans. This thoughtful note can be seen at other points throughout the album, 'Astronaut' in particular sounds like a call for help, and 'Gone Too Soon' a pensive, melancholy account of losing someone close to you, sounding not unlike 'Save You' from their self-titled third album and with a similar heartbreaking feel to it. This only proves that despite not being a 'grown-up' band, Simple Plan are highly capable of writing thought-provoking lyrics, and have evolved somewhat from their angsty 'why does everybody hate me?' lyrics showcased in their debut album without straying too far from their original style.
Although all of their albums up to this point have had stand-out moments, 'Get Your Heart On!' is easily Simple Plan's most consistent album, with almost no fault to be found. Packed with catchy melodies, lyrics and guitar riffs, as well as the occasional reflective moment, this record makes it clear that Simple Plan are a band who are only strengthening with age.
Best tracks: Summer Paradise, You Suck at Love, This Song Saved My Life