Canada's Simple Plan has upped the ante with its sophomore album. Its first set, "No Pads, No Helmets . . .

Canada's Simple Plan has upped the ante with its sophomore album. Its first set, "No Pads, No Helmets . . . Just Balls," was a slice of mall pop/ punk; it generated three hit singles and went platinum in the process. While elements of "No Pads" can be found on "Still Not Getting Any . . .," Metallica/Mötley Crüe producer Bob Rock has added a certain sheen to the group's sound. The rockier songs ("Shut Up!," "Me Against the World," "Thank You") have more heft to them, while first single "Welcome to My Life," "Perfect World" and "Crazy" are commercial nuggets. The bulk of the band's primarily young fan base will surely relate to the angsty lyrics of "Welcome to My Life" and "Crazy," a protest song about having to grow up too quickly. Simple Plan has succeeded despite getting minimal airplay at rock radio, and while that might not change with this record, it doesn't mean the act isn't ready for it.—BT