I was going to take this weekend off, I had tickets to the Bulls game and everything; I was going to ignore shitty music. But the shit just follows me. Five minutes into the game, the couple with the seats in front of me wanders in. Going to the game was clearly her idea, because while she snapped pictures of the players and halftime entertainment, he read -- I am not making this up -- "The Catcher in the Rye." He continued to indulge his rather ironic choice in literature until sometime in the third quarter when his cell phone rang. I recognized the song; I had been waffling as to whether or not to include it on the list. Guess what, it made it.
Simple Plan -- Perfect (2002)
The album was called "No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls." Now that's a title that prepares you for some pure punk rock badassery. Move over, "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols." And the cover art? It's like they boiled down "The Hangover" into one image of freebased awesome. Sure, they all have the same expression, but look at that one in the red; he's going to probably going to bang the bride right in the middle of the bachelorette party. And is he even going to think twice about her groom's feelings? Only if laughing out loud when he thinks he notices a slightly queasy look on his face when the happy couple shares their first kiss as husband and wife counts. These guys are going to rock!
Can you say "bait and switch?" Instead of the tour de force of force of punk rock forecast by the album cover, we get the cutter's anthem "Perfect." Songwriters take note, it may be impossible to squeeze more angst into a four and a half minute song without drawing little frowny faces on the drums. Listening to lyrics like "I just want to make you proud/I'm never gonna be good enough for you" over three chords played really loud makes you feel like you're stuck at the world's worst family dinner while the garage band next door rehearses for that weekend's battle of the bands.
This is the kind of song that should have never even made it to rehearsal. No grown man needs to be whining about a father who is somehow both absentee and overbearing, and they certainly shouldn't be trying to pass it off as punk rock.
Like I said, I waffled about putting this song on the list. Lead singer Pierre Bouvier (I shit you not) manages to make DeadJournal-worthy lyrics sound even more pathetic than they would sound at your local poetry slam, but is being remarkably whiney enough? So I put it to a test. As it would so happen, "Perfect" is more or less a musical carbon copy of Creed's "Higher." I listened to "Higher;" then I listened to it again. And again. And a fourth time. If you make Creed sound good, you belong here.