Good Charlotte - 'Generation RX' Album Review
1. Generation RX
2. Self Help
4. Actual Pain
6. Cold Song
7. Leech feat. Sam Carter
8. Better Demons
9. California (The Way I Say I Love You)
Last time Good Charlotte dropped an album, they really made us wait for it, 2016's 'Youth Authority' came after a 6 year hiatus that seemed to last forever. Thankfully - they've wasted no time with a follow up this time round in the form of 'Generation RX'. The US quintet are well known for being one of the biggest Pop-Punk powerhouses, with their self titled debut album and it's follow up 'The Young and The Hopeless' sending them into superstardom, but long time fans of the band will know that Good Charlotte aren't just about making the massive party bangers that they're often associated with, they also make music with reason and purpose, being that voice of positivity that you just need to hear every once in a while, which is exactly what 'Generation RX' sets out to do. This time they tackle some pretty important issues, including addiction, depression and specifically America's current opioid crisis.
'Generation RX' kicks off with its namesake introduction track, where Benji's peaceful and lifting harmonies are partnered with Joel's deep questions "Where does this pain come from? Where does it hide? Where does it go?" which set the tone for the real album opener 'Self Help'. Things really pick up with punchy single 'Shadowboxer' which sees the five piece get dark and heavy, and display some nice use of synth, that goes fittingly with their signature catchy guitar hooks.
Flagship single 'Actual Pain' definitely comes as a highlight, and no doubt will slot in perfectly to their already packed setlist at live shows. The song came about following the death of rapper 'Lil Peep' a good friend of the band who is one of many artists and musicians who have sadly fell victim to the opioid epidemic in recent times. Lyrically the song is as deep and vulnerable as the title would suggest, but is coated nicely with that trademark Good Charlotte sound that they are known for. Following single 'Prayers' partners up beautifully on the track list with it's predecessor, and both being the two most commercial songs on the album they are great compliments to each other. 'Prayers' keeps up the albums use of powerful and emotive lyrics, - "Why do we kill each other?" being a stand out. It's the soaring chorus that makes this track so brilliant though.
'Leech' see's GC crank it right back up and If you're a fan of 'Architects' it shouldn't come as a surprise that one of the heaviest tracks off of the record is the one featuring frontman Sam Carter, however we don't come across the harsh vocals that he is usually known for, he is though a very nice fit and doesn't seem out of place on a Good Charlotte record, demonstrating just how much a talented vocalist he is. The album closer 'California (The Way I Say I Love You) is almost to much of a feel good song to come from an otherwise dark record, but it is probably the perfect way to round it off - as Good Charlotte have always been that band to turn to for a bit of positivity!
'Generation RX' is an album that would probably take many casual fans of the band by surprise, as we see Good Charlotte delve much deeper than ever before, and address some very important topics along the way - very different from their early teen angst material that introduced us to them. Good Charlotte can hold their heads high with yet another amazing album added to their ever impressive catalogue.
Website - www.goodcharlotte.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/goodcharlotte/
Review - Sam Robinson