Release Date: Nov 2, 2010
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk Revival, Punk-Pop
'Cardiology' is the longawaited, to say the least, return of Good Charlotte. Have they still got it? After a year-long, twice-over recording process due to Good Charlotte’s dissatisfaction with the record’s first cut (they sacked producer Howard Benson during take one for directing them towards an overly mainstream-orientated sound), ‘Cardiology’ is longawaited, to say the least. Commercially-driven producers or not, though, the band have a knack for keeping their sound current and contemporary – tracks like ‘Let The Music Play’ and ‘Silver Screen Romance’ wouldn’t sound out of place next to songs by Forever The Sickest Kids or Out Of Sight – while still being reminiscent of their early material.
Ten years on from their debut, Good Charlotte jumped from Epic to Capitol, but more importantly, they decided to largely abandon the dance-punk nonsense of 2007’s Good Morning Revival for a time-honored back-to-basics move. They’ve returned to the bouncy punk-pop of their earliest years; they’re trying hard not to be blinded by the glittery lights of Hollywood; and they’re writing from the heart, hence the name Cardiology. Old habits do die hard, of course, and so do new ones: it doesn’t take long before the brothers Madden are writing fantasies of how “you’re my Bette Davis/I’m your Cary Grant”; by the end of the record, they’ve had an electronic relapse, dabbling chillouts and electronic rhythms.
Good Charlotte made hay in the early 2000s by pointing their mall-friendly mockery at the ”Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” — until they adopted that lifestyle themselves. Cardiology, the pop-punk band?s fifth album, struggles to stay relevant. ”I?ve never felt so alive!” singer Joel Madden declares on the tepid ”Alive.” ”We?re alive now,” he adds a song later.
Toward the end of Good Charlotte's fifth album, there's a love song to the year songwriters Joel and Benji Madden were born, 1979, and to all the great music that was around back then. Ironically, they praise AC/DC's Highway To Hell while writing off the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive in a song that owes far more to post-disco dance music production than to anything resembling metal. To make listeners' hearts melt, there's a lullaby for Joel's daughter, Harlow, a bit of a cynical move when most of the album is about sleeping with other radio stars, getting wasted like it's your birthday and getting wasted, sleeping with someone, blacking out and thinking it was the best night of your life.
Whoa! A quick glance at the tracklisting for ‘[b]Cardiology[/b]’ suggests [a]Good Charlotte[/a] might have started covering [a]The Smashing Pumpkins[/a] (‘[b]1979[/b]’) and [b]The La[/b]’s (‘[b]There She Goes[/b]’). Which is, if not downright creepy, then just a little bit beguiling. But no, both songs are stone-cold Madden originals. Booo! If you like your rock’n’roll played by four fat talentless fucks and [a]Morrissey[/a]’s old drummer Dean Butterworth (seriously, wtf?!), then… oh just sod off, yeah? Disgustingly derivative and Pro Tooled to the max, ‘[b]Cardiology[/b]’ is monstrously offensive – the latest shit-streak by music’s laziest sons.
Energetic, melodic, fun songs on the themes of love, girls and, well, more fun. Fraser McAlpine 2010 Well they’re clearly sociable people, you’ve got to give them that. There aren’t many musical entertainers (who aren’t Snoop Dogg) that can bridge the gap between super-intense angry rock – they’ve worked with Avenged Sevenfold – and super-fly pop – official support on the last Justin Timberlake tour – without losing friends in the process.