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Simple Plan
Producer(s): various
Label: Lava/Atlantic
At first glance, Simple Plan's teaming here with A-list producers Max Martin and Nate "Danja" Hills appears to be a move born from desperation: a last-ditch effort to compete with the younger, prettier dance-pop stars more capable of keeping up with the times than a rusty old pop-punk band. (That's not a new role for Danja, whom Duran Duran hired last year to perform the same miracle.) Actually, this is what the move appears to be upon further examination, too. Yet to its credit, Simple Plan is a shameless little heatseeker, which isn't much of a musical problem. Provided you're after a good time, several cuts make excellent use of keyboard bleeps and drum-machine beats. Nothing on "Simple Plan" sounds like the work of a band in a room, but aren't there plenty of those to go around?—Mikael Wood

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