Energetic, melodic, fun songs on the themes of love, girls and, well, more fun.
Fraser McAlpine 2010
Well they’re clearly sociable people, you’ve got to give them that. There aren’t many musical entertainers (who aren’t Snoop Dogg) that can bridge the gap between super-intense angry rock – they’ve worked with Avenged Sevenfold – and super-fly pop – official support on the last Justin Timberlake tour – without losing friends in the process.
What Good Charlotte don’t seem to have picked up along the way are any startlingly new ways of delivering their honeyed ramalama pop-punk. Which could prove troublesome for them in the long run, now that the punk bubble has once again popped.
Not that the Madden brothers, Joel and Benji, seem to be unduly bothered. There might be some sumptuous production touches here and there – particularly on the moody ballad Harlow’s Song (Can’t Dream Without You) – but you do not come to a Good Charlotte album expecting sonic revelation. And sonic revelation is what you do not get, in the main.
What you do get is a bunch of energetic, melodic, fun songs on the themes of love, girls and, well, more fun. There’s one about listening to pop music and getting a bit too excited, Sex on the Radio; there’s another about the joy of great songs, Let the Music Play; and there’s one summery strummy one about a young couple enjoying the best year of their life, 1979.
Heck, there’s even one called Silver Screen Romance, where Joel wants to pretend to be Cary Grant by tattooing a girl’s name on his neck – something the great man would almost certainly never have done. It then goes on to goofily reference prohibition and the Great Depression, before embarking on a slightly bonkers choirboy breakdown. See, fun!
Oh, but wait, what’s this right here at the end? Cardiology, the song? An Auto-Tuned choir singing a Beach Boys-influenced doo-wop ballad about the vagaries of the human heart? Garnished with droning synths, and an anguished lead vocal; sprinkled with twinkles and bolstered up by a very cardiovascular drum machine? A sonic revelation? Here?
Granted, it’s not exactly Kid A in the bewilderment stakes. But it’ll do nicely, for now.