RELEASE
October 05, 2004
LABEL
Epic
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Punk Revival, Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock

Album Review

Good Charlotte's popularity exploded in 2002, when the brash singles "Anthem" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous" catapulted them to the top of the punk-pop heap. Once there they couldn't be stopped, at least in part because they endorsed their pop side as much as their punk-derived image. When naysayers tried pointing out the music's lack of substance, Charlotte's irascible core -- tattooed brothers Benji and Joel Madden -- challenged them with the issue of "Boys and Girls," a vacuous yet irresistibly fizzy new wave-styled goof. The Chronicles of Life and Death, Good Charlotte's first post-fame album, uses that status as a loosely binding concept. The Maddens are unquestionably happy with their celebrity. But they've also realized that money won't always buy happiness, or heal their old scars. After an indulgent string section intro, the title track begins to the beep of a heart-rate monitor. "Money talks/In this world," Joel Madden sings the song's modified power pop strut. "That's what idiots will say/But you'll find out/That this world/Is just an idiot's parade." It's the jaded realization on the other side of "Lifestyles"' stardom-baiting. Whereas their previous effort was, with a few notable exceptions, boisterous punk-pop, Chronicles includes an echoing relationship-woe piano ballad ("The Truth"), the subdued "Ghost of You"'s synthesizers and vocal harmonies, and quirky keyboards and acoustic guitars in the lyrically bitter "The World Is Black" ("I can't live when this world keeps dying..."). Joel Madden has also matured since The Young and the Hopeless -- his newly developed husky tenor suits him well on the more introspective material, but can still belt out the rousing punk-pop choruses of "Walk Away (Maybe)," "Predictable," and "Secrets." The album's best track might be its greatest departure. "I Just Wanna Live" is a punchy blend of power chords, string samples, and disco beats that features Madden rapping in a Nelly-inspired flow. For all their well-crafted ambition on Chronicles, "I Just Wanna Live" feels like Good Charlotte's centerpiece, since it's spiked with rock power, but gets its soul from the pop life they lead. [The Chronicles of Life and Death was issued in "Life" and "Death" versions, each with a unique bonus track.]
Johnny Loftus, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Once Upon a Time: The Battle for Life and Death [Instrumental]
  2. The Chronicles of Life and Deathhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fthe-chronicles-life-death%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078357%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  3. Walk Away (Maybe)http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fwalk-away-maybe%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078362%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  4. S.O.S.http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fs-o-s%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078363%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  5. I Just Wanna Livehttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fi-just-wanna-live%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078364%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  6. Ghost of Youhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fghost-of-you%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078366%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  7. Predictablehttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fpredictable%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078367%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  8. Secretshttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fsecrets%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078368%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  9. The Truthhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fthe-truth%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078369%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  10. The World Is Blackhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fthe-world-is-black%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078370%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  11. Mountainhttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fmountain%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078371%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  12. We Believehttp://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fwe-believe%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078372%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  13. It Wasn't Enough
  14. In This World (Murder)http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Fin-this-world-murder%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078374%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
  15. Falling Away [*]http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=GPa6cpPdL08&offerid=162397&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=3664&u1=EI000000004300000004220010074566&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Falbum%252Ffalling-away%252Fid323078349%253Fi%253D323078375%2526uo%253D5%2526s%253D143455
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