Bowling For Soup has typically never been known to make the most thought-provoking music or had the most ground-breaking styles, but there was a point in my life in which Denton, Texas-based Bowling For Soup was my favorite band. This had to do a lot with the humor that they implemented into many of their songs, but also just the amount of fun that it seems like they have while making music. Their songs are typically light-hearted, fast, and fun. Drunk Enough To Dance is Bowling For Soup’s greatest record and combines all of these elements expertly.
Drunk Enough To Dance, released in 2002, is truly an outstanding album. Stylistically, it leans more towards the “punk” side of pop-punk than any other Bowling For Soup album. The guitars are more distorted and frontman Jaret Reddick leans towards the punk side of his voice. Lyrically, this album deserves more credit than it gets.
Bowling For Soup’s lyrics may not be poetic or inspiring, but they are insanely catchy and flow effortlessly. Drunk Enough To Dance has some incredibly catchy, well-constructed pop-punk songs. The choruses on songs like “Girl All The Bad Guys Want,” “Punk Rock 101,” or “Surf Colorado,” are infectiously catchy and speak to Jaret Reddick’s songwriting prowess.
One of Bowling For Soup’s most defining characteristics is the humor utilized in many of their songs. Drunk Enough To Dance shows the band striking the perfect balance between humor and lyrics that have some sort of actual meaning. On future albums, some songs are completely comedic songs, but on this album, humor is interspersed between songs. “Self-Centered” and “Life After Lisa” are examples of songs on this record that are genuinely funny, without feeling immature or forced. The comedic elements don’t overshadow the fact that many of these songs are excellent pop-punk.
The fifth track, “Surf Colorado,” is one of the best pop-punk songs of all time, in my opinion. The song is expectedly catchy and musically tight. The story told in the song isn’t anything new, but no one can deny that this song is catchy and fun. The chorus is as big as ever and gets stuck in your head after just a few listens. “Surf Colorado” isn’t reinventing the wheel of pop-punk, but it is perfecting it.
A unique song that stands out on this record is “Last Rock Show.” It’s more intense than any other song on the album, while still retaining the fun sensibilities that make up the core of Bowling For Soup. It’s a rather short song, running at just under a minute and a half, but it packs quite the punch within its short timeframe. The song just gets anyone excited and passionate about this “last rock show” that the band describes.
There are two songs on this album that stand out as expertly crafted pop-punk singles. The first is one of the band’s biggest hits, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want.” There’s no way that this song wouldn’t have been a hit. The opening riff that plays through the chorus grabs your attention immediately, and you’ll be humming it to yourself in no time. The lyrics are the catchiest that Bowling For Soup have ever produced and are genuinely humorous. It speaks to Reddick’s songwriting ability that this song can become a hit while still implementing classic Bowling For Soup humor. Nothing gets overshadowed on this song. Each verse is as catchy as the last, all leading up to that perfect chorus amplified by the punchy guitar riff.
“Punk Rock 101” is the second song on this album that is a perfect pop-punk single. The lyrics pack tons of punk rock jokes into them, while still being accessible for people unfamiliar with punk rock. I first heard this song as a kid, and I didn’t understand half the jokes, but I loved it just the same. Lines like, “He listens to emo, but Fat Mike’s his hero,” or “Like Tommy and Gina, they’re Livin’ On A Prayer,” are jokes that fit perfectly into the song without sounding cheesy or forced. The chorus featuring a Nirvana reference is big and catchy. “Punk Rock 101” is another one of the best pop-punk songs of all time.
Drunk Enough To Dance is a pop-punk album that does get nearly the amount of praise that it deserves. As the group’s primary songwriter, Jaret Reddick has a knack for creating catchy, fun pop-punk tunes and this album is the prime example of this skill. There’s not a dud on this album and I’d even go as far as to say there are a few songs on this album that are some of the best pop-punk songs of all time. Drunk Enough To Dance is a pop-punk classic and the greatest album to come from Bowling For Soup.
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