Sound — 8
Good Charlotte's latest album, Chronicles, has brought the band to new heights in my opinion. Personally, GC has always been a background band for me. The songs from their last record were nice, and when they came on the radio and sit and listen, but they were nothing spectacular. Since then however, Good Charlotte has grown, musically, by leaps and bounds. No longer limiting themselves to drumming and guitar work has opned a lot of creative doors for the band. Incorporating everything from keyboards to an orchestra, GC's made an album that's not only hard to label, pretty damn good all the same. While some songs are a bit over-the-top (e.g. "We Believe," "The Truth") and a couple seem a bit "throw away" (e.g. "Secrets," "It Wasn't Enough") the album as a whole is absolutely amazing, original, and shows you many sides to the band that had never been seen before.
Lyrics — 6
Lyrically, Good Charlotte has always been either great, or terrible. Never really any gray area. This holds true in their third album just as much as their first 2. While some songs have great, unforced sounding lyrics, others seem very uninspired or repetitive (though in songs like these, the instrumentals more than make up for it) However, on a singing basis, Joel, the lead singer, has really grown into his voice and (usually) knows how to use it. My only beef with him is that he doesn't seem to undderstand his vocal range yet. In the 5th track and 2nd single, "I Just Wanna Live," Joel breaks into a falsetto during the chorus, and it just sounds silly. I used to hate the song for this very reason, yet it's very catchy so I still found myself listening to it over and over. Eventually I came to like the song. And presonally, I find the rapping he does through out the song to be one of the best things about it. It's just another example of how the band is innovating. And it works. The bonus track on the album (that starts playing a minute or so after the ending track stops) is a nice little acoustic preformance from Benji, and is good to listen to once in a while. But it's a bit overly whiny for my taste. Although I do like the lyrics "I'm open/and I'm bleedin'/all over your brand new rug/and I need someone to help me sew them up" quite a bit.
Overall Impression — 8
This album blew me away. The intro track does a good job of putting you in the right state of mind to listen to the rest of the CD, which in itself doesn't dissapoint. The "stand out" songs of the album are "Walk Away" and "SOS" which both have a rocking, climactic feel to them, "I Just Wanna Live" which is probably the most original song of it's genre, let alone the band, "Predictable" which has a very Danny Elfman [composer for the Nightmare Before Christmas] feel to it, "The World Is Black" which is a bit mellow on the instrumental aspect, but is powerful lyricalls and has a certain dramatic flare to it, "Mountain" which blends speedy tempos with slower ones to make a very dramatic stand-alone song, and "In This World" has a surprisingly dark tone to it, despite the rest of the album. The exclusive Death version track "Meet My Maker" is also a great song, but because I haven't heard the complete LIFE song ("Falling Away") I'm not one to say which is better. All in all, a fine peice of work. If I lost this album, I'd be at Target, in the CD section in a heart-beat. This is one album that you can pick up, listen to for months before getting sick of it, and then pick it back up again a few weeks later. Go buy it.