Simple Plan – Harder Than It Looks (Album Review)

Six years after releasing Taking One For The Team in 2016, Canada’s Simple Plan are back in 2022 with Harder Than It Looks. Their sixth studio album, coming at you with ten songs, and released independently on May 6th, Harder Than It Looks finds the band keeping things, well, simple.

Making music for over 20 years now, Simple Plan’s core – Pierre Bouvier (vocals, bass), Chuck Comeau (drums), Jeff Stinco (guitar), and Sébastien Lefebvre (guitar) – have always had a knack for creating some really good Pop Punk music. That said, they do not break the mold when it comes to Harder Than It Looks; they do not over complicate things and focus on doing what they do best.

Still, it is not as easy as it looks… just like the album title implies. That in mind, Simple Plan show they are seasoned songwriters right from the start with lead track “Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over).” A strong opening for the album, it is filled with catchy Pop Rock tones that will get you to tap or nod along immediately. From here you “Ruin My Life,” a song that features a guest spot from Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley, and ironically, it carries a positive vibe in spite of what the title implies. 

The album then gets a little more mellow and melancholic with “The Antidote.” Still lacking no melodic quality, “The Antidote” also carries the potential to get stuck in your head for days. Then passionate affection returns with “A Million Pictures Of You” as Simple Plan delivery a beautiful love song that will warm your heart. This while “Anxiety” offers more melancholic vibes before “Congratulations” comes back cheerfully with a fast and catchy rhythm, and “Iconic” dishes out a strong, powerful opening. Furthermore, you have the fast, thriving “Best Day Of My Life” before “Slow Motion” slows down the tempo a bit, and “Two” closes the album with some nostalgic vibes. 

Overall, Harder Than It Looks goes by in an instant, but each of its ten songs still resonate strongly long after they ring out. Straightforward, it is catchy and is filled with positive vibes that will affect everyone listening. Thanks to thriving melodies and catchy rhythms that show Simple Plan still have it, Cryptic Rock gives their Harder Than It Looks 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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