Sound — 6
The fourth album from Maryland foursome and a long-awaited follow to their 2004 The Chronicles Of Life And Death, Good Morning Revival is finally out March 27 on Epic/Daylight. The album features a new band member -- former Morrisey drummer Dean Butterworth and the return to the band's old producer, who worked on their breakthrough record, Don Gilmore (Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne). While the first fact doesn't really say anything, by hearing the second one you pretty much know what to expect from the record. The first single of this album Keep Your Hands Off My Girl that the band released through Internet turned out to be a very infectious song that set high expectations for the future album. Frontman Joel Madden wrote it aiming to have a song he could hear in the clubs and it's the only one of it's kind on the record. The rest of the record is a bit different and not always as good. The band admits on the new album they went more melodic and upbeat, which at times turns out to be more pop. Like sensitive ballad Where Would We Be Now which is influenced by a break-up with Hilary Duff. It features a romantic piano and it is actually the first song by Good Charlotte written for the instrument. There are a few danceable and strong tracks (like The River recorded in collaboration with M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold & Synyster Gates), at the same time Good Morning Revival shines with ridiculous ideas. The album is full of sing-along choruses, carrying cheesy pop tune that spoils the impression. Bells and horns in the chorus of Broken Hearts Parade that remind of some Disney cartoon song. Victims Of Love sounds too much like a Russian band t.A.T.u. Guys, do you honestly listen to fake lesbians or it's just the production? The first part of the album has a lot of electronic flourishes that diverse the music. At the same time it's more mature, revealing you the Green Day side of the band. The closer it gets to the end, the more you want to push stop bottom. The culmination is at the last track March On -- an example of how bad a punk-pop band can get, with all the necessary attributes -- cheap strings, primitive back vocals and weak falsetto.
Lyrics — 5
I guess most of the album's poetry was influenced by Hilary Duff. And I wish it wasn't. Sometimes it's sentimental as a cheap movie about love. March On tends to be tearful, but falls on the face with And I remember winters were so cold/Hunger was the only thing we know/ And rock'n'roll dreamin' was what saved us sounding unbearably false. Besides it doesn't rhythm. The lyrics sometimes are so poor that you want to believe Good Charlotte are just to making fun of themselves. But they are not. Singing about I've got brass knuckles hanging from my neck and my chain in Keep Your Hand Off My Girl they do think people will repeat the words, dancing to the song in da club. Not all the album is that bad though, and you can find a couple quite serious lines in the verses. Joel Madden is merely carrying the duty of being a vocalist without any enthusiasm about it. He sings the notes and even screams where it's necessary, but the emotions and variety are at a very mediocre level.
Overall Impression — 5
It's obvious Joel Madden has matured a songwriter -- not only he can write better songs like Misery, he also learned to write commercial and tacky tracks like Broken Hearts Parade that provide 80% of the album sales. Aiming to sound popular, Good Charlotte often end up sounding like a travesty to themselves. Take away that pop ingredient, and it would be a fairly good album. But it wouldn't sell that well. I believe Good Charlotte can make interesting and solid records, but it's the commercial part of the project that makes the critics shiver with disgust again and again.