Good Charlotte are back after six long years with Youth Authority. Still, with the signature pop punk sound they are known for, they are bring excitement back to a genre that has been slightly on the back burner recently.
With the pop punk genre comes lyrics of rebellion and defiance, a trend Good Charlotte have always followed and this album doesn’t disappoint. Setting the tone and style from the start with ‘Life Changes’ containing lyrics such as “We said we’ll never give up until we die.”
Track three, ’40 oz. Dream’ is pop punk at its purest, mocking modern culture cleverly incorporated into the music by featuring an edit heavy opening full of sound effects. With a similar feel to Bowling For Soup’s ‘1985’, it’s classic pop punk updated.
Similarly ‘The Outfield’ mixes this theme and love together with lyrics “We were the young and the hopeless” referencing their 2002 hit and leading to “Somehow we found redemption… / My life was leading me to you.”
Love is a strong theme running through the album with a clear story being told. ‘Makeshift Love’ starts slow leading into a heavier track reflecting the lyrics about the breakdown of a relationship: “All she wanted was me broken hearted.” whereas ‘Life Can’t Get Much Better’ has an opposite feel yet the lyrics “Let’s just stay together” feel like a response to the earlier track. In addition ‘Cars Full of People’ can be seen as following this story after stating that others’ view of the relationship don’t matter with lyrics “They said we were lost / That we had no future / But you said hold on / And we stayed together.”
Track eight, ‘Stick to Your Guns’, is an interlude, an often forgotten tactic of breaking up the album showing their years of experience in the industry. With messages of hope and staying strong - “If it makes you wonder if you’re going under / You can hold on / You can stick to your guns” - the interlude is a refreshing and heartfelt break from heavier tracks with a more pop like beat to mix things up.
The album somehow updates classic pop punk, without feeling as though it’s a throwback, a trap many other artists have fallen into. With lyrics made to be screamed along to and beats that have you air drumming, Good Charlotte are back and they are bringing pop punk back with them.