Bowling For Soup – Songs People Actually Liked Volume 2 review

Bowling For Soup are celebrating their 29th anniversary with the highly anticipated follow-up to the 2015 greatest hits compilation, Songs People Actually Liked.

While the first edition covered the band’s up-and-coming years from 1994 to 2003, Songs People Actually Liked Volume 2 highlights what is arguably Bowling For Soup’s most iconic era stretching from 2004 to 2009.

This includes chart-toppers and record-breakers like 1985, High School Never Ends and Almost; possibly making it the most popular tracklist Bowling For Soup will ever have in a single album.

Volume 2 is a lot more jam-packed than its predecessor and Jaret Reddick’s huskier vocals add an entirely new melancholy depth to fan-favourite ballads like When We Die.

In the eight years since their last greatest hits album, Bowling For Soup has also seemingly perfected their choral vocals and it’s almost impossible not to grin through songs like Ohio that are neck-deep in nostalgia.

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The band’s newest member, bassist Rob Felicetti, is delightfully highlighted in the infamous spoken-word bridge in I’m Gay, and the now-five-piece group clearly still have their distinctive notes of camaraderie and brotherhood.

Bowling For Soup have also taken the opportunity to do some production changes throughout the record. Tempo alterations and pitch adjustments in some numbers build a super-slick finished product the second time around.

However, throughout the album, there is some unrealised potential as it doesn’t really offer the updated social commentary fans might be expecting.

While their 2015 greatest hits album didn’t majorly reimagine any tracks, Bowling For Soup had a pristine opportunity to add some updates, dripping in their usual brand of sarcasm, to hits like 1985 that were formed around the pop culture of the time.

Songs like BFFF and I’m Gay do get a few updates but it leaves a sense of longing for what High School Never Ends could have been.

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Similarly, what may be the biggest disappointment for fans is the confirmation that they will not be getting the new version of 1985 that many expected in 2023 to celebrate its 19th anniversary. The same amount of time between the song’s release and the actual year 1985.

After Pop Drunk Snot Bread’s release last year, Bowling For Soup clearly still have their inimitable knack for hilarious and poignant social commentary which almost makes it a little more disheartening that they’ve missed the opportunity to renew their most popular tracks.

Ultimately, Songs People Actually Liked Volume 2 is a completely sound album, offering the same songs fans fell in love with but just a decade later.

Bowling For Soup – Songs People Actually Liked Volume 2 is out now.

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