Good Charlotte

Good Morning Revival

Written by: PP on 30/03/2007 14:55:35

Whilst browsing across the net for reviews of Good Charlotte's fourth studio album "Good Morning Revival" I noticed a worrying trend that was not only visible on the major-label associated magazines (NME, Rolling Stone etc), but also on many independent review sites like AbsolutePunk and SputnikMusic. Every single review seemed to focus on what the band wears, who they date, and what they have done in the past, and not a single one showed credible evidence that the reviewer had approached the album objectively. To some extent, this is understandable given how arrogant Joel Madden can come across as in interviews, and how the band is among the very examples of selling out in the pop punk scene, not to mention the mediocrity of their last two albums on top of all that. I know that many of you will shun me for writing this review, but if you are able to put all your dislike against Good Charlotte aside, and give the album an objective listen, you too should be able to realize that this is the best album Good Charlotte has written to date, and aside from a few songs that shouldn't be on here, the majority of "Good Morning Revival" is awesome mainstream synth-influenced pop punk!

"Misery" starts off the album bearing many similarities to Alkaline Trio's last album "Crimson". The band comes across as much darker and more gothic than before, helped by the tortured emo-chorus and the melancholic synths. However, Good Charlotte hasn't gone entirely miserable on you, as the song among the rest on the album never quite falls down to Alkaline Trio's level of misery. "The River" is the most infectiously catchy song the band has written to date, and is among my favorite songs written this year in the genre. The guest vocals by M Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold adds some edge to the second verse, but the chorus is in its own class. It's one of the catchies choruses I've heard in a long time, and Madden delivers it in a high-pitch voice that would make Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy proud. If you thought my Alkaline Trio reference was borderline before, that chorus should clear up any confusion, albeit it is much more obviously constructed than any of Trio's songs. "Dance Floor Anthem" is one of those explosive ones that starts slow, but raises its profile big time once the chorus arrives. It stays true to its name as well, as it is one of those songs you would most want to hear during that midnight-explosion mood-lifter on a dance floor after the DJ has damnb near destroyed your night by playing horrible RnB songs all evening.

Though the majority of the album has infectiously catchy songs, not all of them are to my taste. "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl" follows a similar RnB approach to the song as Fall Out Boy did on "This Ain't A Scene..", but Madden's monotoneous low voice doesn't work here at all. "Beautiful Place" sounds far too much like Coldplay's "Beatiful World" (it actually made me think they ripped off the chorus from Coldplay), and "March On" and "Where Would We Be Now" are just far too poppy ballads for my likings. For some reason the band gets slightly ska on "Broken Hearts Parade" with some horns added to their sound, which works alright but really isn't the direction that I hoped the album would develop to from the first four songs.

Granted, the lyrics on the album are plain awful ("Take a look at my life, all black / Take a look at my clothes, all black" from "All Black" - a great song otherwise), and the band never comes across as genuine on the album. But despite my love for DIY and for bands that truly believe in the music they write, it's not always necessary to have those qualities in order to write a good album. So forgiving the album's trend to recycle used ideas and its originality that can be compared to a blank sheet of paper, the songs are still (mostly) awesome and infectiously catchy. Perhaps "Good Morning Revival" doesn't have much lasting value in the same way as an Alkaline Trio album does, but it is still a very danceable and enjoyable album for the time that it lasts, and I can't even imagine how awesome some of these songs will be on a large scale venue. So I beg you, dear reader, to ignore your hatred for what the band represents and that their previous albums haven't been all that great, because there is some serious song writing talent here, even if it isn't in the form of writing original or technical songs. Sometimes all that matters is catchiness.

Download: Misery, The River, Dance Floor Anthem
For the fans of: Alkaline Trio, The All American Rejects, Simple Plan, Green Day, +44
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.03.2007
Epic

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