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The Chronicles of Life and Death (Life Version)

Good Charlotte

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Album Review

Good Charlotte's popularity exploded in 2002, when the brash singles "Anthem" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous" catapulted them to the top of the punk-pop heap. Once there they couldn't be stopped, at least in part because they endorsed their pop side as much as their punk-derived image. When naysayers tried pointing out the music's lack of substance, Charlotte's irascible core — tattooed brothers Benji and Joel Madden — challenged them with the issue of "Boys and Girls," a vacuous yet irresistibly fizzy new wave-styled goof. The Chronicles of Life and Death, Good Charlotte's first post-fame album, uses that status as a loosely binding concept. The Maddens are unquestionably happy with their celebrity. But they've also realized that money won't always buy happiness, or heal their old scars. After an indulgent string section intro, the title track begins to the beep of a heart-rate monitor. "Money talks/In this world," Joel Madden sings the song's modified power pop strut. "That's what idiots will say/But you'll find out/That this world/Is just an idiot's parade." It's the jaded realization on the other side of "Lifestyles"' stardom-baiting. Whereas their previous effort was, with a few notable exceptions, boisterous punk-pop, Chronicles includes an echoing relationship-woe piano ballad ("The Truth"), the subdued "Ghost of You"'s synthesizers and vocal harmonies, and quirky keyboards and acoustic guitars in the lyrically bitter "The World Is Black" ("I can't live when this world keeps dying..."). Joel Madden has also matured since Young and the Hopeless — his newly developed husky tenor suits him well on the more introspective material, but can still belt out the rousing punk-pop choruses of "Walk Away (Maybe)," "Predictable," and "Secrets." The album's best track might be its greatest departure. "I Just Wanna Live" is a punchy blend of power chords, string samples, and disco beats that features Madden rapping in a Nelly-inspired flow. For all their well-crafted ambition on Chronicles, "I Just Wanna Live" feels like Good Charlotte's centerpiece, since it's spiked with rock power, but gets its soul from the pop life they lead. [This version of The Chronicles of Life and Death includes bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Moving

Though not the biggest Good Charlotte fan in the world, I absolutely fell in love with this album when I first heard it. The mixture of catchy, up-beat and meloncholy songs really shows Good Charlotte at the very top of their game, before they morphed into what they are today. Love them or hate them, this is a great album and should be respected for its musical value and the poignant messages that so many of the songs have.

good charlotte

great album! dont coment if u dont even like the gd band!!

odd

odd to say the very least. Chesscat

Biography

Formed: April, 1995 in Waldorf, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The East Coast post-grunge/pop-punk outfit Good Charlotte was founded in 1996 by identical brothers Joel and Benji Madden. Inspired by a Beastie Boys performance on their 1995 Ill Communication tour, the Maddens enlisted the help of several high school classmates in assembling a band that combined the energetic elements spawned from '70s punk with the sentimental ballads of mainstream corporate rock. Good Charlotte was soon formed, with Joel Madden handling lead vocals and Benji...
Full bio
The Chronicles of Life and Death (Life Version), Good Charlotte
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