Does mature equal better for Sum 41?
Sum 41’s fifth studio album to be released Screaming Bloody Murder is a massive change for the group from Canada with the songs focusing less on humour and shows the maturity of the band. The album lasts 48 minutes and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their rock music and has been a fan of the band, however, it is very different and a lot less punky than their previous albums.
It seems to have been inspired by lead singer Deryck Whibley’s divorce from Avril Lavigne with a lot of the lyrics referring to relationships and how hard it can be when they end. But in my opinion this album is a good switch for the band, making the songs a lot harder and the guitar solos showing more aggression than ever before combined with softer more acoustic sounding sessions, sometimes even played within the same song. The first song of the album ‘Reason to Believe’ shows this perfectly with the beginning very slow and softly sang but the middle section of the song explodes into life with Whibley almost screaming at times and is very emotive with the lines, ‘Cos after all you can’t get everything you want now.’ A reference to Lavigne maybe. For fans that like to ‘fist pump to music and sing along this middle section of the song is definitely for them and as it is Sum 41 it does not take very long for fans to learn their lyrics. Then the song calms down yet again and Whibley sings ‘Everybody’s got a secret, can you tell me what is mine.’ I think this song more than most on the album shows the growing maturity of the band and how far they have come in terms of how they can show their emotions.
Screaming Bloody Murder is a very good album and I think that anyone who previously didn’t like Sum 41 could possibly enjoy this a lot more whereas I believe older Sum 41 fans will be split on whether they like the change the band has made. The song ‘Screaming Bloody Murder’ has amazing drumming which strangely keeps the chorus going unlike most other bands that try to lead with the guitars which makes the song easy to fall in love with for many different reasons and keeps the pace of the song up for the entirety. This is the sort of stuff their fans want to hear as I would be tempted to call it dirty pop punk because it is easy to sing along to but isn’t something you would hear in the chart.
I am split on which song I think is the best on the album with ‘Jessica Kill’ providing yet more ‘dirty pop punk’ mostly because it is a throwback to the days of ‘Chuck’ and ‘Does This Look Infected?’ But the other song that really caught my attention is ‘Crash’ because it is a ballad which is mostly about listening to the lyrics and it is piano led which is not expected from a band like Sum 41.
However, it is not all positive from this album although I like all the songs on the album I can see why others would not, with the band being arguably one of the best in the world at producing songs less than three minutes , they have four songs that are over four minutes which just seem stretched out and leave the band looking a little out of their depth.
Very good album in my opinion but can be improved, go back to basics Sum 41 and just write catchy songs, although saying this the album did reach number 5 in the UK Rock Album Chart so the matured punk rock band must be heading in the right direction.
- Glen Patterson
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