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Music Review: Good Charlotte – Cardiology

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It seems that the guys of Good Charlotte have done a lot of growing up since their last album release in 2007. Their new album, Cardiology, touches on love, life, and family.

Originally formed in Waldorf, Maryland in 1996, Good Charlotte is Joel Madden (lead vocals), Benji Madden (vocals/guitar), Billy Martin (guitar/keyboard), Paul Thomas (bass), and latest addition Dean Butterworth (drums). To date, the band has sold over ten million albums.

When I talked to Good Charlotte’s guitar player, Billy Martin, last month, he said that the recording process for this album was “a rollercoaster ride.” The band originally started recording Cardiology with producer Howard Benson, but decided to go in a different direction when the album wasn’t turning out how the band had originally envisioned it.

“We kind of just pulled the plug and started over later with Don Gilmore, who had done our last record (Good Morning Revival) and our first record (Good Charlotte),” Martin said. “We wanted to try something new with Howard, and it seemed like a good fit, but in the end it just wasn’t. We kept probably six or seven of those songs. We ended up throwing everything away and re-recording with Don and then a handful of new songs came out during the process.”

The result of going back into the studio with Gilmore is 15 of the best songs from Good Charlotte. The beats, melodies, and lyrics on Cardiology are nothing short of fantastic. There are a lot of different sides to this album; it really is as if they took the best parts of their previous albums, then went and made an album that all of their fans could really get behind. Good Charlotte, photo courtesy of EMI Music.

“When I listen to our first records, it’s so innocent, and I think that we really managed to recapture that feeling with this record without actually repeating what we’ve done in the past,” lead singer Joel Madden explains in the band’s press release. “I get the same feeling of excitement listening to the record that I did when we first started making music.”

I have to agree with Madden on this. I feel like this album really harkens back to the band’s first album, yet shows the progression of their music at the same time.  A great example of this is “Counting The Days,” which is reminiscent of their first album: it’s catchy, the melody is simple, yet there’s that something extra in the music that amps it up to the level where the band is at today. I think it would make a great choice for their second single.

Speaking of singles, “Like It’s Her Birthday” is a great bridge from Good Morning Revival to Cardiology. The song picks up from the last album, builds on it, and sets a great tone for this new album.

Also, I appreciated that “Like It’s Her Birthday” was not the first track on the album just because it happened to be the first single. The band really succeeded at making this album flow from song to song, making Cardiology a well rounded collection of solid music.

In songs like “Harlow’s Song (Can’t Dream Without You),” “1979,” and “Right Where I Belong,” you can tell how much the band has matured lyrically. These songs are a departure from the angst in some of their music from their earlier times, and the focus is on the good that they have had in their lives.

“A lot of the lyrics on this album are about being in a different place in my life,” Madden said in a press release. “There are some songs like “Harlow’s Song (Can’t Dream Without You)” that are directly about my kids or being in love and how being in a relationship changes the whole experience of my life, but a lot of the lyrics are introspective. Obviously we’re all in different places in our lives, but we’re giving our fans that same honesty we always have.”

As I was listening to the album, I kept envisioning hearing these new songs live, and the one that I think is going to be a huge crowd pleaser is “Standing Ovation.” It’s somewhat of a light-rock song, but has great sing-a-long potential. I think the band’s fans are going to really enjoy this track.

Musically, Cardiology really has its bases covered. There are the catchy pop tunes like “Silver Screen Romance,” the rockin’ party anthem “Last Night,” and the harder rock track, “Alive.” This album definitely shows progression in the band.

Cardiology is due out November 2. For more information on Good Charlotte, check out their official website.

Definite Downloads: “Counting The Days” and “Standing Ovation”

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., singer-songwriter Christina Perri, and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.
  • walosi507

    Good Charlotte is about as real as they come. No hand-outs, no financial backing, nothing to fall back on. They were a make-it-or-break it band and aren’t we all so glad (and so proud) that they did make it?! You go, boys – you inspire me to go on!

  • geoffrey Stafford

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