It’s incredible to think that Good Charlotte have just celebrated their 23rd year as a band. Music has gone through so many phases ans scenes since then, but they have weathered all the storms and come through the other side, and dare I say it, they are a much stronger band now than they were then.
Generation Rx is their seventh album,and the follow up to 2016’s ‘Youth Authority’ and without question the most accomplished album of their career. This is the album Good Charlotte fans have been longing for, and it has been worth the wait.
The transition from young and reckless to elder statesmen of pop punk is perhaps the best thing that has happened to Good Charlotte at least creatively. Generation Rx (a title that refers to a generation that has grown dependant on medication to deal with the pains of life) is a focused, mature and weighty album, that has some real meat to it and a sense of purpose that had been missing from some of the band previous releases.
This is a darker album as well, im both the musical and lyrical sense. The edges are harder and the lyrics hit harder. ‘Prayers’ is a particularly sombre track, that digs deep into religion and faith, it is one of the albums stand out tracks and one I find myself going back to more than any other on the album.
Shadowboxer and Actual Pain paint pictures of failure, regret and self loathing, themes that Good Charlotte have touched upon before, but this time there is a rawness and vulnerability that seeps its way under your skin and really makes you feel every word and every note of it. Shadowboxer has layered synthetic strings under it which gives it a more cinematic edge, making it feel intimate, but also huge all at once.
Leech features an appearance by Sam Carter of Architects fame in a brief but memorable cameo and is one of the heavier moments on the album, proving that Good Charlotte haven’t lost sight of their roots. Better Demons has some looped in dialogue from news reports about the children of this generation, the track itself is probably the catchiest track on the album, and feels very much like the Good Charlotte of old.
Generation Rx is a very brief album at a touch of 30 mins, it is focused, raw and shows a band that has a renewed hunger and have matured into a genuinely great rock band, who still have plenty of ideas and things left to say. Gone are the day glo pop punk jams of the early noughties, and in their place we have a darker, leaner band with a starker sound that incorporates a more electronic edge.
If this album is any indication of the direction Good Charlotte are heading in then the next phase of the bands career could be their most exciting and interesting yet. Good Charlotte have returned with and album that showcases them at their very best and I already cant wait to see what’s next.