Still Not Getting Any

Studio Album by released in 2004

Still Not Getting Any review

The Montreal-based punk-pop group Simple Plan is comprised of high school pals Pierre Bouvier (vocals), Jeff Stinco (guitar), David Desrosiers (bass), Sebastien Lefebvre (guitar), and Chuck Comeau (drums). In 2002, Simple Plan headed into the studio to make a record. Good Charlotte's Joel Madden and Mark Hoppus of blink-182 joined the band during those sessions and the end result was the fiery, fun No Pad, No Helmets...Just Balls, which was released in spring 2003. The Simple Plan's smiling approach to the punk-pop sound was wildly successful, and put them at the genre's top tier. Their Bob Rock-produced second album Still Not Getting Any… followed the next year. Like their peers, 2004 found Simple Plan seeing its sonic limitations. Still Not Getting Any...de-emphasized punk-pop hyperactivity in favor of straightforward, well-crafted modern rock.

Their almost irritatingly catchy second album, Still Not Getting Any…, plays like a list of grievances. Shut Up!, Welcome to My Life, and Me Against the World suggest the Montreal quintet have a chip on their collective shoulder the size of Saskatchewan. The earnest power ballad Crazy catalogs society’s ills (dysfunctional families, materialism, airbrushed magazine photos) over buzzing riffs and crashing drums. Jump is a bouncy call to forget your problems and, well, jump – though it’s not clear whether they’re endorsing some sort of dance-floor going or leaping off the nearest high ledge. One’s big-guitar sound is matched to a fleet of surging violins. Thank You, Jump, and Promise are of the energetic No Pad, No Helmets...Just Balls mold. But tracks like Perfect World, Everytime follow Welcome to My Life 's mid-tempo lead, and also tie Simple Plan's voice-of-the-kids stance to lyrics questioning the world around them. While lead singer Pierre Bouvier did almost all the singing on the first CD, much more is heard from backup singers Sebastien Lefebvre and David Derosiers, who do a lot more of the singing here, and they are well worth listening to.

Canada's Simple Plan has upped the ante with its sophomore album. While elements of No Pad, No Helmets...Just Balls can be found on Still Not Getting Any…, Metallica/Motley Crue producer Bob Rock has added a certain sheen to the group's sound. Every power chord rings crunchily. Every chorus sticks in your head like a eyebrow piercing. Every harmony sounds like a choir. Every drumbeat reverberates like an empty stadium. And every one of these well honed cuts bypasses the pit and makes a headlong dash for the top of the pop charts. The shift to a more dynamically rich sound suits Simple Plan just fine. The album's less raucous and more thoughtful side shows Simple Plan's investment in the future. Shelving a disc of goofy tracks for this grounded rock affair, this isn't just a step in the right direction for the band, it's a good move for the pop-punk genre as a whole. Still, there's enough energetic frothy stuff to keep more bodies bobbing, too.