It’s funny what 5 years can do to a band. Back in the days of The Young & The Hopeless the Madden twins et al scoffed at millionaires with their brand new cars and fancy things, yet now they epitomise the stereotype to a tee, name-dropping big money endorsements as if they were going out of fashion on latest album Good Morning Revival.
For that reason alone there’s the temptation to simply fob off Good Morning Revival as further expansion of Good Charlotte’s 2004 clunker Chronicles Of Life & Death. However, once you take the time to look past the kind of lyrical deficiencies that plague the likes of Keep Your Hands Off My Girl and All Black, you start to realise that maybe Good Morning Revival could simply be a case of Joel and Benji having fun with themselves, pandering to the lifestyles they now so wholeheartedly adorn.
Sure, there’s times when the boys are straight-faced and full on seriousness, but amongst the cavalcade of saccharine hooks and uber-large choruses, this is simply a case of Good Charlotte doing what they’ve always done – brilliantly constructed mass-appeal pop-rock with an angsty edge – and in the case of Revival, they do it as well as ever.
If anything, Revival expands on the bands previous efforts, with the likes of Victims Of Love and Dance Floor Anthem fusing late ’80s synths aside chugging guitar lines, whilst the effortless, yet ridiculous, All Black bounds about with all the endless enthusiasm of a caffeine-induced 8 year old on a trampoline. It stalls in parts – such as on the sappy Coldplay-esque Where Would We Be Now – but on the whole the record treads a steady line between up-tempo rockers and effective ballads. And it works.
Questionable contributions from Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadows and Synyster Gates plague the otherwise excellent The River, a tune about decadent down-town Los Angeles, whilst Keep Your Hands Off My Girls’s foray into decidedly white-boy rap remains naggingly intrusive, borrowing a few ‘Aha, ahha’s’ from Bon Jovi and name-dropping the likes of Louis Vuitton, ASG, and YSL in the process.
Elsewhere Revival straddles the line between gargantuan pop-rock (Break Apart Her Heart, Broken Hearts Parade), dance-funk rebellion (Victims Of Love) and crooning balladry (Something Else, March On) to decently cohesive prominence.
Where Good Morning Revival takes Joel, Benji and Co is anyone’s guess. Whilst lacking the heartfelt emotion of the likes of Emotionless (pun not intended) and the unadulterated fists-in-the-air fun of The Young And The Hopeless, Revival sets a precedent for a vastly more mature Good Charlotte, a Good Charlotte that have long jumped the Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous boat and moved onto the very pastures they once so prominently heckled.
And well, who can blame ‘em.