Sound — 6
"Sigh" Yet another forum in a Good Charlotte related war of words, it's become a farse that one band could make so many people so cranky. I suppose like marmite, you either love them or hate them. But let us rewind 4 years ago, before Good Charlotte had a clothing brand, before they lived a lavish lifestyle and before they released a third, more serious, and frankly terrible album (is it me or do they follow Blink 182?) The year 2000 - a promising punk-pop band heralding from Waldorf Maryland released a self titled debut album. On this album, lots of the guitar is samey-default punk-pop guitar chord progressions are the order of the day. However, something on this album still makes the punk-pop genre seem fresh and new. They seem to play with enthusiasm, and the relentlessly upbeat music and vocals make this album very accessable to a wide audience. "The Little Things" is the first song the audience gets to hear, and is a good start. The music has attitude, and grabs the audidence's intrest. However-Benji and Joel come in with a ridiculous spoken dedication speech, which sounds like is should be on a rap album. There is a good variation of acoustic and electric guitar sounds on this album, often with acoustic verses and loud, sing a long choruses. For me, the stand-out track is East Coast Anthem, because it sounds original and differs from their general sound, yet still manages to be catchy.
Lyrics — 6
Joel and Benji Madden-twins who could probably pass for Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen-sing the vocals. Joel is a capable singer, although his voice can become annoying. Likewise, Benji (rhythm guitar and backing vocals) adds texture to the lyrics by adding some pretty sounding backing vocals, these also can get irritating, but there is something likeable in their style. The main topics covered in this album are Benji and Joel's up-bringing (their dad's lack of presence mentioned frequently) "You're living all alone, because you left us all at home", being grateful for what they now have ("giving thanks to the lord, I pray everyday") and being losers as teens-The Little Things talking about how hard school was for them ("like the time in school when we got free lunch, and the cool kids beat us up") bless their little hearts. The lyrics arent too insightful, not many deep topics are covered and the rhyme schemes aren't unique either. The lyrics come across as being simple and maybe better words or phrases could have been used. However, the lyrics didn't need to be too brilliant, for they had plenty of time to mature and prefect their craft. The one major gripe I have with Benji and Joel's vocals, is the amount of influence from rap music. On the one hand, they were trying to be original. However, rap doesnt belong with punk-pop, and inane dedications, reptetition of the words "yo", "c'mon", "yeah" etc etc make Good Charlotte appear to be more ammatuer than perhaps they are.
Overall Impression — 6
OK, considering that this was a debut album, it showed a lot of promise. It wasn't as talented as Green Day's Dookie, and Blink 182's Enema Of The State manages to out-strip Good Charlotte in the happy punk-pop market, however, this debut showed promise. Not nessacarily by the content on the album, but because at the time Good Charlotte seemed like a genuine band, interested in playing for the song and making good music. They played with enthusiasm, and had something about them which made them stand out. I don't need to say this-but I will: I am not a Good Charlotte fan. However, I belive that people should cut them a bit of slack. They are just a band trying to get by, and I belive that too much criticism is heaped upon them. If you don't like them, fair enough, nobody forces you to listen to them, so stop wasting space on forums whining about them, listen to what you like, and respect people for what they like. As I'm writing this review, I can't help but feel a pang of sadness. GC had potential to be a good band, but after their most recent efforts, it seems to me like yet another punk-pop band have sold themselves short, and will eventually get lost in a crowded market full of latest trends and money.