(Photo courtesy of Punkeando!) “Bowling For Soup fails profoundly in their attempt of covering an array of hit songs from other artists.”
Texas pop-punk band Bowling For Soup released their new album “Don’t Mind If We Do” in early April. The album consists entirely of covers of other artists’ songs. Lacking passion, as most cover albums do, this newest record is easily skippable in the band’s discography. The band has several well-received original albums, so a cover album was not their smartest choice.
The opening song is titled “Hey, Mario” and it’s a hate ballad for the famous Nintendo character. The singer seems to absolutely hate Mario and the way he keeps trying to save Princess Peach, who clearly doesn’t want him. The song, originally performed by Patent Pending, contains none of the original hyper-pop feels trading in the bouncy Mario sounds for the heavier pop-punk guitars.
The next song they cover is Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers”. The band originally released the cover in February. They once again destroy what the original song holds. The breakup song by Cyrus held deep and earnest emotion, that Bowling for Soup simply cannot replicate. They speed the song up slightly to keep up with their regular sound. The song falls entirely flat and emotionless and feels like a cash grab off of Cyrus’s success.
They also tried their hand at covering Eagles with “Already Gone”. Bowling for Soup lead singer, Jaret Reddick does not have the chops needed for the melodies of the classic rock hit. His gravely voice does not lend itself to the smooth melody of the song. The song lacks everything that the original holds, creating a lackluster rendition. It falls in with the uninspired versions of every other song on the album.
Perhaps the best rendition on the album is the cover of Blue October’s “HRSA” because of Blue October’s punk roots, Bowling for Soup was able to replicate the sound fairly well. They are not trying to influence the song with their own sound, they are just adding a small spin to it.
Another stand-out song is their version of The Bellamy Brothers’ “Let Your Love Flow”. Here Reddick’s gravel-y voice lends itself well to the love song. The faster pop-punk take on the song doesn’t ruin the song at all and actually gives a good original spin to the song. It feels like an ode to the original, rather than Bowling for Soup’s ill-advised attempt to make the song their own the most of the album is.
Like most cover albums Bowling for Soup’s “Don’t Mind If We Do” takes good songs, and makes them bad. Adding nothing to the songs except underwhelming vocals and an overdone pop-punk sound. The album adds nothing to the band’s reputation, except a stain. The best parts of the album are the cameos on some songs from Hanson and 10K.Cassh. The album fails to do what cover albums should do: offer good new takes on songs. This album feels like a starter band in their garage attempting to find their footing, not the work of a well renowned band already established in their scene.
Overall Grade: D