Release Date: September 14, 2004
Reviewed by Sonya Sutherland

I like songs that tell a story. That is why I like Bowling for Soup’s latest A Hangover You Don’t Deserve. There’s a narrative about Debbie who is stuck in 1985, then one about a girlfriend who ran away to Cleveland with some guy named Leland, and even a little ditty about a Trucker Hat with a John Deer logo. Every song is clever and well written, thankfully void of predictable rhymes. Humor goes a long way for this one.

A Hangover You Don’t Deserve is a wonderful pop album. Not the radio bullshit pop, but the happy go lucky attitude of the Beach Boys, minus the surf-rock vibe. And even so Jaret Von Erich voice is a bit on the whinny side, it does goes well with all his little complaint tales, and I don’t mean complaint in the I’m Still Mad at My Dad nu-metal way. Von Erich has great inflection, and besides you have to whine a little when you are talking about ex-girlfriends and your old hometown.

A singer alone doesn’t make a great band; the combination of music and vocals is what takes an album all the way. Bowling for Soup definitely has great rhythm and peppy music, with a tad of that “punk” that has become so popular with the kids today. And just because A Hangover you Don’t Deserve is pop (and posisbly classified in the same category as those Good Charrolette jokers), that doesn’t mean that the record sucks or that it has to be limited to repetitive riffs- these guys play flawlessly together. A Hangover you Don’t Deserve has variety, which is key, and 16 tracks, which is very cost-effective in the days of the 11-song cd.

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