EP Review; Good Charlotte: “Generation Rx”

The Album:

After the band’s striking return in 2016, the world has fallen back in love with a band that helped galvanize the pop punk genre of music. Since their returning album “Youth Authority” meshed well with new and old fans of the band, audience members were expecting big things for the band’s upcoming EP, and Good Charlotte gave them something a little new and surprising instead. When looking at the album, it is apparent from the first track that the Good Charlotte’s characteristic sound was going to be present. This is heard throughout every selection through the natural ease of the vocals, whether through the band’s melody or harmony. Also, the band utilizes their characteristic instrumental approaches when talking about texture. There are moments where the instrumentals shine, but for the most part, the limelight is put on the catchy and memorable lyrics that drive each specific selection. Moving to what makes this record a tad different for the band, it is heard that the band brings in more genre influences when moving throughout the album from front to back. To further, the band utilizes electronics, which connects them to the more modern, pop/alternative sound approach, which will help their album attract a bigger audience since that technique is heard on the majority of the tracks, even if it is faint. Another genre that the band brings to light is that of the rock/hardcore genre, which is enforced since one of the tracks on the album features vocalist Sam Carter of the metal band, Architects. Just by adding his voice to a track changes the timbre of the song to a darker color, which helps to give that selection an edgier tone. This is completely uncharacteristic for the band, but that doesn’t make it unsuccessful; rather, it just shows that the band is willing to take risks that can and will most certainly pay off. Another larger point to bring attention to is the overall lyrical concept of this album. The band sets up an emotion from the very beginning of the album, and they ride that to the very end. They are able to morph and twist their musical selections to enhance their story, so that when the album comes to the end, the listeners feel as if they have received the full story.  Overall, I am giving this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album such a score because the album itself is not bad instrumentally or lyrically; however, when comparing this release to the previous ones for the band, this one just doesn’t compare.

 

Top Tracks:

“Self Help”, “Shadowboxer”, and “Leech”

When listening to this record from front to back, these tracks stick out immediately as songs that everyone should know. These selections keep the Good Charlotte characteristic sound at their core; however, from there, the band utilizes their new genre influences that they are toying with throughout this album to give their audience something that sounds like it can belong within various musical genres all at once while still amplifying that Good Charlotte sound that helped jumpstart the pop punk scene. This type of music is hard to pull off, which is what makes these tracks stick out all the more. Furthermore, if you want to check out tracks that still scream “Good Charlotte” with a creative twist, these are the ones to go for.

 

The Artwork:

When first glancing at the album artwork for their new EP, it can be said that audience members may be a tad confused, for it is very different than any other album cover art that the band has used in the past. The design of the cover appears to have the band across the front, but instead of the band being their normal selves, they all stand there as skeletons with the title of the album tracing the bottom of the image. When connecting this to the music presented on the album, it is safe to say that the two do, in fact, connect. The story that is heard throughout the record, talks about the demons, hard times, and gloomy emotions that one goes through in everyday life. Additionally, this is amplified through the darker sound that the band carries from track to track to continuously keep that ominous tone consistent until the album is complete. When marrying those two concepts together, I can see how the cover of the record could enhance the music. The cover art could symbolize the inside of one as a person, which is where one would fight all of those demons and hard feelings. Branching from this, the album talks about fading away, dying, etc., and all of those things can be visually represented by skeletons. At the end of the day, this cover art is not my favorite, for it seems a tad elementary, literal, and gimmicky compared to their other album covers, but the cover doesn’t take away from the musical experience that they are trying to deliver, so I guess it’s not too bad then.

*”Generation Rx” was released on September 14, 2018 through BMG Rights Management.

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