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Good Charlotte

The Chronicles of Life and Death

I have a confession to make. I judged this record before I listened to it. Sometimes the stench of bullshit it so strong that it's impossible to ignore. For mall punk this is certainly the case, but I try to remain objective regardless. However, somtimes the stench is unbearable.

After listening to "The Chronicles of Life and Death", I can say my prejudice was well founded. Holy God this record is awful. Typically when I’m subjected to something as horrible as this, it’s from a radio I’m being forced to listen to at work. Never before have I willfully put myself through something this painful. Let this serve as a warning. There is no need to experience this record yourself.

"The Chronicles of Life and Death" reeks of greed and corporate sleaze. I bet the marketing execs at Sony were pumped when Good Charlotte thought of the idea of releasing the same record twice with slightly different artwork and different bonus tracks. It shows they understand the minds of the teenage uber-fans who will no doubt buy both copies to prove their loyalty. And while you’re at the mall, why not go buy a new spiked bracelet at Hot Topic for $30. Since the punk of today places style above substance, you'll be well on your way to becoming a mall punk.

Ironically, there is no punk influence on this record whatsoever. I would bet my life on the claim that nobody in Good Charlotte owns a record by The Stooges, Black Flag, or Minor Threat. To them, punk rock originated in ’94 with the release of Green Day’s “Dookie”. Sure, every thirteen year old in ’94 old thought “Dookie” was the best record ever released. The difference between Good Charlotte and everyone else is that, now in their 20’s, they still think it’s a classic record.

At least Green Day had the balls to write songs about masturbation and shooting heroin. Good Charlotte would never take a risk like that because it might jeopardize their album sales. The execs at Sony would never allow them to put anything even slightly deviant on their record even if they wanted to. For a band like this, deviating from the norm means putting a rap rock track on your record. Apparently nobody bothered to inform the members of Good Charlotte that the rap rock trend is over with. Good luck trying to latch onto the latest pop phenomenon on your next record, guys.

And let’s talk about the lyrics for a moment. This is the band who, on their last record, gave us lyrical gems such as “girls don't like boys/girls like cars and money”. This record isn't much better. If somebody told me that Good Charlotte stole the diary of a depressed teenage girl and used it for the lyrics for their new record, I would probably believe them. “I'm paranoid about the people I meet/Why are they talking to me?/And why can't anyone see/I just wanna live.” It’s like this all the way through the record. If it actually had been written by a teenager, it would be excusable. But, once again, these guys are in their 20’s. Grow up. Read a book. Take an English class. Your lyrics are embarrassing and unbearably cliché.

Every misunderstood fourteen year old from the suburbs is going to eat this record up like ritalin. It’s understandable for them because they’re young. But anyone over the age of eighteen should not own this record. If you are, and you do own the record, you deserve all of the ridicule you will very likely receive. Good Charlotte is not punk, no matter how big their faux-mowhawks get. Punk was all about danger and this record is as safe as they come. Go buy the first Minor Threat album and set the two records side by side. Then tell me which one is punk rock.

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