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Album Review: 13 Voices by Sum 41

Canadian pop punks Sum 41 return with their sixth studio album 13 Voices due on 7th October via Hopeless Records. Lead singer Deryck Whibley’s 2014 breakdown and hospitalisation was well publicised, Sum 41 touring and everything that goes with it may well have been the cause. 13 Voices is the result, as Whibley says, “Writing music gave me a purpose and I started from scratch with absolutely nothing to work with. I would put on movies with no sound and start writing guitar riffs and music to the images. Mostly movies from Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino like Edward Scissorhands, Sweeny Todd, Kill Bill and Inglorious Bastards. The process led me in a direction that I had never gone in before which made me feel like I was writing a theatrical score called “hard-score punk”.

You may question why we’re reviewing the album, sure you could consider it a little too mainstream for Alt Dialogue but the fact remains that 15 years ago All Killer, No Filler came along and was the soundtrack of our year. It came about at a time when pop punk and nu mental were the genres of the day, it was the marker of the early 00’s and delivered the quality the title suggests.

Unfortunately, 13 Voices doesn’t come close to their debut or even their sophomore effort Does This Look Infected?. As you’ve got to expect the band have lost most of their youthful energy and the lyrical content is less infantile. It comes with growing up, naturally, but what you end up with is a band that sounds like a bunch of Dads covering early Linkin Park.

It sounds like Linkin Park at their most accessible and most boring. There’s very little punk energy left in Sum 41 and while Whibley’s trials and tribulations aren’t there for derision they don’t make for an interesting or relatable subject matter.

It’s also obvious that this was an album written with a successful comeback in mind. The mundane accessibility of the music removes and kind of cathartic passion that may lie behind the lyrics. Take away the lead singles ‘Fake My Own Death’ and ‘War’ (plus the pop heavy ‘Breaking the Chain’) and you’ve got an album that is all filler and no killer.

AD Rating 5/10

3 Comments on Album Review: 13 Voices by Sum 41

  1. “Unfortunately, 13 Voices doesn’t come close to their debut or even their sophomore effort Does This Look Infected?. ” you seriously think this would be like before? This critical only wanted to hear “Pop punk” and was not what gave

    Like

  2. Thank you for the excellent post

    Like

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