Released: Oct 27, 2010
Genre: Pop punk, alternative rock
Number Of Tracks: 15
It's safe to announce, Good Charlotte aren't reinventing themselves and destroying any last drops of credibility they have left.
CardiologyFeatured review by: UG Team, on november 05, 2010 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's hard to believe the term "pop punk" was once associated with artists like Simple Plan and Good Charlotte. The early periods of the 2000s' featured television sets dominated by artists like these but when compared to today's definition of the genre, it's blatantly weird to imagine offspring like Metro Station and Forever The Sickest Kids stemmed from songs like "The Anthem". The reason why Good Charlotte's latest release isn't injected with pathetic wails about girls with model looks is because Cardiology borrows genes from the Maryland act's debut releases.
Instead of popping eyes with a venture into dark, menacing tones or indie wonderland, the group keep it simple, tying the chemistry of the Madden brothers around simple pop riffs and hooks. There are advances into sweet sixteen birthday-party anthems ("Like It's Her Birthday", "Sex On The Radio"), but they, like most of the album, fall in line with The Young And The Hopeless, coming mature and not too "synthy". Even the serious attempts at ballads placed in the middle of the fifth studio release refrain from being too lovesick. "Harlow's Song (Can't Dream Without You)" and it's gloomy sincerity along with the alt pop track "Standing Ovation" impeccably set up the rest of the album that plays with hints of electronica and acoustic melodies. The direction barely tosses on an experimental shirt, but in this case, playing it safe works for a band like Good Charlotte. // 7
Lyrics: One of the most difficult things to do as a pop punk artist is to not sound like a heartsick 15-year-old who's songwriting is intended directly for members of the opposite sex. Good Charlotte accomplish this somewhat. The radio-friendly singles don't fall into the shameless clique thanks to Joel Madden and his lazed punk voices, but a few particular songwriting bits do inflict peer-pressure. "All that I remember, is that you had me at hello / I knew right when I met her is that I wouldn't take it slow," pleads Madden on "Last Night", a pop punk track disguised as a dance anthem.
Add in other songs with predictable lyrics ("Right Where I Belong") and Cardiology seems like it's headed for disaster, but put the blame on the album's construction. Madden holds his own as a vocalist on numerous tracks but gets overshadowed by numbers that come off as filler. The first 22 minutes flow but the trio of ballads that drop in sound and power-up on honesty question if the material was actually written in the last two years. // 6
Overall Impression: It's safe to announce, Good Charlotte aren't reinventing themselves and destroying any last drops of credibility they have left. Before the physical release, the group stated Cardiology was a more mature version of their self-titled entry into music, which is indeed crystal-clear. The album doesn't try to be a dance chart-topper. It doesn't pretend to be a hybrid of pop rock. It doesn't even flirt with modern pop punk. What it does is tap into the band's roots, drawing from the heart and speaking in a simple tongue that can satisfy any listener who once called themselves a Good Charlotte fan. // 7
unregistered, on november 17, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound on this album seems to be lacking. There is a lot of song variety, like nearly all GC albums. It's definitely a change from Good Morning Revival (which is dead to me). The objective of the album is a reflection on the band's roots, so the sound is accordingly nostalgic. There are mellow songs like "Harlow's Song" and "Right Where I Belong"; there are also some creative and high-energy songs like "Silver Screen Romance." I hesitate to say "high-energy," however, because it seems like Good Charlotte has lost the urgency that it once had on its second and third albums. Overall, there are a few high points, but most songs seem flat, lacking, and *gulp* boring. The musicianship from Chronicles makes a few cameo appearances, but never takes the reigns like it did in the past. // 5
Lyrics: When I heard the title of the upcoming album, "Cardiology," I feared that the lyrics may suffer from the typical "hackneyed teen angst" theme that modern pop punk bands embrace. I was right. Benji said before the album's debut that the songs were all "connected to the heart." That's true, but it's not a good thing. Just skimming through the lyric book, nearly every song is predictable and has mention of a girl. It's quite a disappointment to me when I consider the masterfully written songs that they've done in the past that have real meaning, like "Mountain," "The Day That I Die," or "Motivation Proclaimation" for example (and many others). I used to love this band because I felt like its members understood me. I felt like Joel and Benji would sit there with me in my basement and have a deep talk about life with me. I don't get that feeling from the last two albums, not to mention the remix thing that I didn't even bother with. I don't know if the well has run dry for these guys, if they're trying to appeal to a different audience, or if they've actually changed, but the shallow lyrics are killing what I have left of them. The only songs that I consider (read:) tolerable with regard to lyrics on this album are the first four, "1979," and "Cardiology." That being said, they still don't compare to earlier music. Even "All Black" and "The River" from the last album were better. I'd say that the lyrics are equally as bland as the music on this album.
With all that being said, Joel still sounds good like he usually does, and the harmonies between the twins are spot on. The actual vocals aren't the problem here. // 3
Overall Impression: "Cardiology" doesn't live up to Good Charlotte's past standards. Other bands from the same generation have stayed relevant through change, but the opposite has occured with GC. Music these days seems to be obsessed with image (I'm glaring at you, Screamo), and I fear that GC has bought into it. Now more than ever, bands try to ride the demographic that listens to their music because it's "different," in other words crappier and more meaningless but defendable by condescendingly crying that "you don't understand." In my opinion, the bands that care the most about the fans are the ones that don't give a damn what the fans think and just make music. I'm not saying that GC has never been about image up until now, but it used to be minimal and also negligible because the music was still good. If these guys have actually been changed by their success, then they should call it quits now. But if there's any urgency left in them, any desire to make music like they used to, then I would beg them to revive it. I'll keep buying GC CDs until the band quits because I'm optimistic like that, but I sincerely hope that they can ditch the image and start making real music again. // 4
unregistered, on march 28, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is purely and simply a Good Charlotte album. Staright from the start you are introduced to joel maddens coll crooning vocals in "introduction to cardiology" this album sweeps from guitar friendly tracks such as "let the music play" to anthemic rock songs with unforgetable choruses such as "last night" and "there she goes" they even have room for a light-hearted acoustic track "1979" which describes a time which you would imgaing to be in the madden twins youth. With this record Good Charlotte have made, in my opinion, their best album yet. // 9
Lyrics: In many ways the lyrics remain the same essential "love songs" that Good Charlotte always seem to do, they do this because they are good at it, very good at it. Joel maddens vocals bring a lot to the album and there is no doubt he is a very talented singer. He portrayes the emotion in "standing ovation" perfectly and it fits the mood of the song. He also manages to sing a high pitched scale in the bridge of "there she goes" which would be beyond many singers. // 8
Overall Impression: Good Charlotte can be compared to artists such as green day with this album and they deserve huge credit for it, they have defintely grew up with this recored are sing more about real issues and real problems in life, instead of immature teenage songs. The thing I love most love about this album is the anthemic and unforgettable choruses which make this album great. This has got to be one of my favourite ablums of the year. // 9