Good Charlotte have split opinion for a number of years now and have recently announced that they will be going on a tour of Australia.
So why have they split opinion so much? Well it goes back to their second album, ‘The Young and The Hopeless’ which many people described as too clichéd and too similar to a lot of other bands around at the time. Among punk rock fans they are most disliked mainly because of the singles they decided to release which were far too pop for them, in particular the song, ‘The Anthem’ which is on the edge of punk but could more easily just be described as a fast paced pop song. But in fact this song is probably one of their more popular songs with it featuring in many videogames and films. Plus, it reached number 10 in the UK so it obviously went down well. Surprisingly, all of the songs they released were in the top 40 of the UK, ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ reached number 8, ‘Girls and Boys’ came in at 6, then ‘Hold On’ and ‘The Young and Hopeless’ both reached number 34.
The problem with these singles was that they all simply just felt too mainstream for a punk band and sort of felt like Good Charlotte were a pop band hiding behind a punk image which obviously infuriated some people as they were very hyped the year this album came out and obviously a lot of people were disappointed with them. But they do have some good songs on their album and I personally really enjoy it, it focuses on a lot of topics that are clearly very meaningful to them with many of their songs focusing on two of the members of the band’s dad leaving them at a young age. ‘Story Of My Old Man’ is another song that could be described more as a fast paced pop song rather than punk but the song ‘Emotionless’ is one of the best songs on the album and catches the emotion very well. It is an acoustic song with quite depressing lyrics but somehow they make it quite uplifting.
The harmonising between the Madden brothers, Joel and Benji is definitely one of the plus points of the album but even that they occasionally overdo it. There is energy in most songs which makes the songs more likeable and you can see why they did so well in the charts because they are very accessible and anyone can listen to them really, as well as their lyrics at times being quite fun. At times they are a little too simple but the drummer Josh Freese deserves a special mention as he adds a lot to the songs and gives some of their tracks an extra edge and the beginning of ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ is fantastic because of him. Thinking about it when I was younger I really enjoyed this album but now looking back there are a lot of tracks that aren’t anywhere near as good as other punk bands and most of these unfortunately are their singles so you can see why there is a hatred for Good Charlotte as they haven’t given the whole album a chance.