Kids are often drawn to edgier music, whether it is Eminem preaching about the injustices of the world or the provocative Britney Spears. Teens like music if it’s something their parents wouldn’t approve of.
While Sum 41 tried to produce a good third album, they failed for many reasons. Normally, I would say they bring up interesting political and religious points, but this time they fall short. Lyrically, the CD is difficult to digest because it seems that Sum 41 doesn’t know what they are singing about and the music is driven by heavy guitar riffs which are only there to pump you up, and it falls short of giving you that energetic feeling.
Sum 41 is notorious for confusing fans with their lyrics and “Chuck” doesn’t fail to do so. They don’t describe what they are singing about except for their first single, “We’re All to Blame,” which is clearly a political song that brings up a lot of truth.
The other songs try to allude to something possibly political, but fail. It seems forced in a direction that may lead the listener to believe it’s about a girl. Also, they use ideas from other bands. They blatantly copy Linkin Park’s “Hybrid Theory” and another sounds curiously like a Good Charlotte song.
I also think that Sum 41 loses sight of making music for themselves and instead takes the path that makes them the most money. You can hear the pop in their music with songs like “Some Say” and “Pieces.” To me, that type of music gets tired fast because it’s the same in all the songs. There are tracks with grit, but you can tell they are holding back, which is a letdown since, on their last album, they seemed more inclined to make their own sort of thing rather than please the masses.
In conclusion, if you want that grit and rawness usually found on a Sum 41 CD, don’t look for it in “Chuck.” I’m still a loyal fan and although they try to be taken more seriously with this album, they fail because they didn’t come up with anything original. If you buy this CD, you will be let down.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.