Sorry For Partyin’ | Bowling For Soup
I first learned about Bowling for Soup when their 2004 album “A Hangover You Don’t Deserve” came out. Catchy songs with funny lyrics like “Almost” and “1985” got stuck in my head for hours on end. I’ve since learned the band has been using this formula for more than a decade. Bowling for Soup releases albums with upbeat tunes and humorous, though occasionally offensive, lyrics. Their new album, “Sorry for Partyin’” sticks to this mold very well.
The lead single, “My Wena,” characterizes the band’s frat boy humor. Opening with a catchy guitar riff, this song describes the lead singer’s relationship with his unfortunately named girlfriend. The chorus takes over every opportunity for sexual innuendo, and lyrics like “She’s only happy when I’m holding her tight/ my Wena” certainly prove this.
More of the songs seem like a bored frat boy wrote them about the things he loves—beer (“Hooray for Beer”) and his best friend (“BFFF”). Like most of the album, these songs have appealing melodies and comical lyrics, but the combination of the lyrics and music seems wrong. One would expect a 21-year-old coed to performing these songs, not a 38-year-old singer who should be changing his sound as he matures.
The opening track, “Sounds Like a Dance Song,” is a pop-punk, synthesized song where the band tries to comment on the state of the music industry. When trying to lament the fact that the pop-rock industry seems to be dying out in favor of dance hits, lyrics like “I can’t wait for the remix…it’s gonna be a really big hit” come off as more in-your-face than scathing, or even funny.
In the best songs on the album—“Only Young” and “Me With No You”—Bowling for Soup jumps from their standard comedy pop-rock formula in a poignant way. The anthemic “Only Young” posits a hopeful message about being young against a rising chorus, and “Me With No You” is a low-key love song where a boy is just trying to find himself after a breakup.
There are a couple of moments on this album that just don’t belong. “No Hablo Ingles” is an awkward mashup of the lead singer trying to get out of some really unfortunate situations by claiming that he does not speak English. For some strange reason, matador music plays in the middle of the song. Maybe the band is trying to play up how Spanish it is pretending to be? In “I Gotchoo,” the music switches from upbeat pop to death metal in the middle of the song. Also, the bonus track on the album inexplicably is a Belgian polka. I guess it was fun to hear once, but really: Who wants to listen to a Belgian polka?
I would have preferred this album more if the lyrics were printed out and billed as a book of comedic poetry or if the music was merely instrumental for me to jam out to. All the components are there, but placing immature lyrics on top of surprisingly pleasant music just doesn’t work for me. At least some of the songs show signs of growing maturity, so here’s to hoping that more songs like “If Only” will show up on Bowling for Soup’s 11th studio album.
For fans of: New Found Glory, Boys Like Girls
Tracks to download: ‘Only Young’, ‘Me With No You’, ‘Don’t Wish You Were Dead Anymore’