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Good Morning Revival

Good Charlotte

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Album Review

When ironies are as delicious as punk-pop quartet Good Charlotte turning into the very thing they parodied on their career-making hit, "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous," it's hard to resist the temptation to repeat the story, no matter how often it's been said. After all, it is true. Good Charlotte succumbed to every temptation fame has to offer and turned into L.A. scenester frat-rats, which, in turn, turned them into gossip-blog fodder as lead singer Joel Madden dated teen queens and super-skinny celebs whose main claim to fame was being famous. It's a textbook rock & roll cliché, and now that the apex of their popularity is beginning to recede into the past, they've fallen back on another textbook rock & roll cliché for their fourth album, 2007's Good Morning Revival: desperate trend-chasing. True, the group was beginning to stretch out on their first post-fame album, 2004's The Chronicles of Life and Death, but where that found the group getting a little more ambitious, Good Morning Revival — released a full five years after their breakthrough, The Young and the Hopeless — demonstrates that they now have real concerns about appearing fashionable, so they've adopted the two main rock trends that surfaced since 2002: dance-punk and '80s fetishism. They've morphed from blink-182 into the Killers, a stylistic makeover that makes Madden's swipes at the "plastic people" of Hollywood on the opening "Misery" ring a little hollow since his sudden pursuit of glam style seems like the epitome of L.A. emptiness. To be sure, the icy synth textures and guitar atmospherics borrowed from the Edge are the foundation of this album, but Good Charlotte aren't content to just restrict themselves to tricks they learned from the Killers; they sample from a wide spectrum of sounds and bands from the last five years. There's the pounding electro-disco of Rapture-lite "Dance Floor Anthem," which feels like it should be ironic, but isn't. There's the Blur/Gorillaz-aping "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl" — its chanting verse borrowed from "We Got a Line on You," the hook from "Song 2," its beat from the Gorillaz — and there's the Coldplay-esque shimmer of "Where Would We Be Now," complete with the finishing touch of piano arpeggio. This kind of calculating changeup would have worked better if the band had the hooks or the good sense to embrace their crass pandering so it's good trashy fun; if they signaled that they knew how ridiculous this shift in direction was, it'd be easier to enjoy.

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...
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Good Morning Revival, Good Charlotte
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