Saturday, April 14, 2007

Good Charlotte- Good Morning Revival

Revival is a word with many different meanings and connotations. It can be used to describe a religious conversion, a renewed interest or a period of high emotion. Morning can be seen as a metaphor for a revival; the arrival of a new day brings a new start. On their fourth album, Good Charlotte attempts to revive their music, but fails in every aspect.

Good Morning Revival is a desperate attempt to be taken seriously. Everything that was remotely likable about this band is gone. The pop hooks and tongue in cheek lyrics of singles like “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and “Girls and Boys” have been replaced with tired synthesizer riffs and dour lyrics Good Morning Revival was logical step-forward in the evolution of Good Charlotte, but it actually exposes what a mediocre band they are.

The most interesting thing about Good Charlotte is not their music; it is their ability to rip-off whatever is hip at the time. When the band came into the mainstream in 2002 with The Young and the Hopeless, they fit neatly alongside a million other blink-182 clones. Two years later, it was cool to name drop bands like The Cure, so the band became Goth for The Chronicles of Life and Death. In the two years since Chronicles, the stylish sounds of new wave have become hip, so Good Charlotte has picked up a synthesizer.

Unfortunately, Good Charlotte forgot the cardinal rule to being a stylish new wave band: Shallowness and glamour. To the band’s credit, they have the shallowness down to a science. However, no matter how many Hollywood parties they attend, no matter how many anorexic blond starlets lead singer Joel Madden dates, there is absolutely nothing glamorous about Good Charlotte.

On the album’s opening track, “Misery” Madden whines about the plastic, shallow people that populate Los Angeles. Madden fails to realize that he has become the epitome of what he is whining about. Lyrical missteps like this make the album unintentionally hilarious. “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl” is the worst offender. Madden glorifies the shallow Hollywood lifestyle that he scorns, gloating about his chains, his model girlfriend and his hot car. After that burst of male bravado, Madden morphs into a wounded puppy, claiming that he is a “Victim of Love.” Please.

Good Morning Revival is the worst album of 2007 so far. This may seem like hyperbole, but there is not one redeeming factor in this record. The music is dull and lifeless, and the lyrics are an insult to human intelligence. If Good Charlotte knew how to write a decent hook, or if they had an ounce of wit or humor, this album could have been saved. Unfortunately, Good Charlotte let their ego and self-importance drive this album, and it’s what ultimately killed it. The band meant this album to be a piece of serious art, but art requires craft, and Good Morning Revival has none.

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