Pop-punk practitioners rarely make it to a third album without declaring some sort of newfound sensibility -- they're going a little darker, say, or they're experimenting with a dancier sound. But Simple Plan stick to pretty familiar territory on album three, which maybe explains the unclever self-title: perhaps the plan for this one really is simple. The Montreal boys pound away at full speed here, cranking out a batch of short, frivolous songs that showcase Pierre Bouvier's nasal but weirdly appealing voice and one, "I Can Wait Forever," that seems to be rooted in real feeling. The whining hasn't let up (see "No Love" and "Generation"), but the fun hasn't either. Credit the producers: Timbaland's protégé Danja Hills pitches in, and so does Max Martin, a knob wizard known for shining up the songs of Kelly Clarkson and fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne.
Simple Plan Review
by Tammy La Gorce