GOOD CHARLOTTE - CARDIOLOGY ALBUM REVIEW
After a three year break from releasing new music, Good Charlotte is up and at it again. This album, however, is much different than any other album they have put out in the past. Rather than writing about the excellent party lifestyle that they live as musicians, Benji and Joel Madden wrote this album at a much more personal level. This is not to say they don't write the same though; their songs are just as powerful now as they are before. With unique album artwork that at first makes listeners question what exactly to expect with this new record, Good Charlotte has foreshadowed their growth since the last album they released "Good Morning Revival" in 2007. Rather than the usual album cover that includes a photo of the band themselves, or a representation about the band, this album includes the image of a human heart which relates soley to the album itself. However, after listening to the album in its entirity, it is apparent that the artwork has a deeper meaning than one would think at first glance. It foreshadows the intimacy the album holds, with lyrics hitting listeners at a much more personal level than they are used to hearing. "Cardiology" gives long time Good Charlotte fans, as well as fans who are just coming into circuit, a whole new look on what their music is all about.
The album drops in with a gospel-like introduction track that is nothing like what is heard on Good Charlotte's earlier albums. I won't lie, this had me a bit worried at first. But after the forty-seven seconds of introduction was up, track two ("Let the Music Play") kicks in with a much more familiar sound. A more laid back beat that slams into the chorus provides for an excellent transition and preview into what the rest of the album will sound like. The Madden brothers seem to open up about their lives much more in this album, writing about situations that many people go through. This track in particular speaks about how greatly music can affect the lives of every individual; connecting to fans left and right because that is the exact reason that the album was purchased in the first place. It explains how when things in life aren't going so well, music will set you free and give you the type of escape you need. The first two tracks provide an excellent set up to the rest of Good Charlotte's new album.
Heavy and fast-paced beats lead into "Counting the Days", more along the lines of a Good Charlotte song found on previous albums. With this track, the three year gap between releasing new music seems to disappear and transition right back into where they left off. In this track, Benji and Joel write about relationship problems; another issue that many fans can relate to. After an excellent exit with a repeat in chorus, track 4 "Silver Screen Romance" begins. Still maintaining the high paced rhythm, this track starts out with harmonies leading directly into strong lyrics. Cheating is the message in this track, with deeper meanings when reading between the lines. These messages include living life to the fullest without taking things for granted or letting little problems have a heavy impact. With a musical sound much similar to that of most modern music, Good Charlotte's newest album is off to a great start.
"Like it's Her Birthday" goes more in depth with the lyrical meaning of cheating that was introduced in the previous track. A situation is explained through more of a talk-singing style, dropping into an upbeat chorus. This is one of the more low-key and less powerful tracks on thealbum, however harmonies provide a very catchy vibe that listeners can easly grasp on to. After an instrumental segment with "Like it's Her Birthday" sung repeatedly, followed by an intense guitar solo and repetition of the chorus, the album drops into track "Last Night". The song starts with a very techno vibe, relating back to the style of a lot of modern music. With more up front lyrics than the previous tracks, "Last Night" is a song that is about exactly what it appears to be. It is about retracing steps and wondering exactly what happened the previous night. The techno vibe continues throughout the song which creates a catchy and dance-a-long song that many young adults will love. In fact, it is one of my favorite songs on the album.
After a feel good song, "Sex on the Radio" begins with a continuation of the techno rhythms. However, after about twenty seconds, the guitars and rock sound drop in to create a song more like what Good Charlotte is all about. Using a catchy chorus, you can't help but sing along with it while listening. After two instantly catchy songs, a more rock and up beat rhythm breaks in with the track "Alive", slowing down in about twenty seconds. By breaking up the styles of songs, Good Charlotte keeps listeners' ears open to what will happen next. This is definately one of the more relatable songs on the album as well. Everyone has a point in his/her life where they think to themselves "I've never felt so alive", which is a great thing to connect music with. Eight tracks in, Good Charlotte still has listeners on their toes and thrilled about the new music pulsing through their ears.
With a song revolved around pride and self confidence, "Standing Ovation" creates a great mind escape. The way it is sung is much slower and unlike the rest of the tracks on the album. It creates a huge burst of instant self confidence when listening because of the lyrical meaning. It feels as though Joel is singing the song to each person listening; singing about how well they are living and to always be confident in that. It is an excellent transition to the second half of the album. The most personal track on the record, "Harlow's Song" starts with a burst of piano (similar to the introduction to Rihanna's hit "Unfaithful"), slowing down the album. Everyone goes through the loss of someone near to them at one point, whether it be a friend or family member. Writing such a powerful song about a touchy subject gives listeners the chance to really break free and think about that time. This is definately my favorite song on the album for this reason, and I feel that many will agree after hearing it for the first time.
With a sound much like one you would find on the "Titanic" soundtrack, a musical piece starts out track eleven "Interlude". As an all instrumental piece, this track creates a nice gap of space to reflect on the extremely powerful song that came previously. It allows the break-free and reflection to conclude, and picks you back up again with strong guitar chords in "1979", a track that goes off in a different situation explaining an event that was experienced by the Madden brothers. Using an acoustic guitar to set off this feel good song, a smile is instantly plastered onto the face of each listener; a great comeback from the previous two tracks. Harmonies provide yet another catchy vibe with upbeat guitar rhythms keeping up throughout the track. It is my favorite up-beat song on the album just because of the happiness it instantly brings. It talks about having a great year, another relatable topic that sets Good Charlotte in the right direction yet again. "There She Goes" starts instantly with powerful vocals, leading into instrumental backgrounds that are upbeat and provide a dance-a-long feeling. Love at first sight seems to be the message, creating another feel good song that Good Charlotte is so well known for. It revolves around how wonderful a relationship can be from the start, which is a common theme in songs today. They put their own spin on the message to make it much more powerful than what is heard on the radio though using guitar solos and an uncommon chorus.
Starting out with flowy guitar pieces and a light piano song, "Right Where I Belong" sounds like a great track from the beginning. Rather than loud singing and quiet instruments in the background, this is the opposite which makes it obvious that the focus of this piece is the incredible music that was written to go along with powerful lyrics. Being very uncommon, this makes the fourteenth track very unique to anything else in the music industry. With one track left, the Madden brothers have kept their writing abilities strong through the album, not even slipping once. The final song, "Cardiology", concludes the album with the exact sound that is found in the introduction track. However, this time it is very appreciated because it really wraps up the way the album makes listeners feel. The emotion is undescribable; so incredible that one must listen to the album all the way through in order to truly understand and get the escape that it creates. Go on, give it a try and experience everything that "Cardiology" has to offer.