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Today we’re going to talk about an album, which greatly combines classic pop-punk(ish) approach towards composing and performing musical content with completely contemporary sound and conceptual meaning. All in all, it’s necessary to remember that nowadays we can rarely see pop-punk bands sounding the same as they were 8-10 years ago, when the pop-punk sound was much more popular than it is nowadays. As of today, it’s only the old-school bands of this genre tend to stick to the classical sound of it. However, I cannot say that these guys sound bad or represent outdated style. Instead, I’d like to assure you that the current album is worth listening to just for the sake of listening to a great combination of upbeat pop-punk music with rather depressive meaning. It’s what I like about the album the most.

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In short, Good Charlotte is an American pop-punk music band, which I never listened to on a continuous basis. I mean, I might have heard certain tracks from these guys occasionally in video games or on YouTube but the fact is that I never even heard any of their albums from beginning to the end. Moreover, I was never interested in them. Nonetheless, it was quite unexpected for me to see the latest album of these guys in my Google Play suggestions. To be honest, I expected something like a parody to the old-school pop-punk, which would be mediocre at best with its cliche techniques and sounds. In reality, it was not the case.

The album is titled Generation Rx, which is generally referred to the abbreviation of “medical prescription”, which suggests that the current album will discuss the current generation struggling with addictions and emotional problems causing them. All in all, the overall conceptual framework is based on these messages of youth abusing drugs and substances because of their severe anxieties and depressive disorders. What is more important in this regard, this concept is a complete opposite to the same of $uicideboy$ (for example), where the depression and addiction are being shown in negative way. In current album, it is being said that such depressive disorders and addicitions represent severe problems, yet they can be resolved in order to start living a better and happier life.

As for the cover art of the album, here we can see the photo of the guys wearing make-up resembling reapers. In other words, I see the album’s cover and its title as a clear reference to the youth’s problems with drugs, which was always the case tbh. However, it is being often argued (thought I cannot offer exact data) that drug overdosing rates are currently the highest ever.

Let us move on directly to the lyrical analysis of the album because here it is quite easy to do. It’s because of thefact that the lyrical meanings of the tracks and the whole album in general is clearly present above the surface; therefore, you’d hardly need to think about additional messages and meanings hidden within the lyrics. In fact, every track tells us a story of young people struggling with anxiety and emotional pain because of being misunderstood or being caught up in bad relationships.  Still, these themes are also being balanced by the lyrics telling that it’s normal to feel such anxiety and pain in young age and that it is better to endure and “outlive” this emotional problem because life will get better once this is achieved. In total, we can clearly see that it’s not the most complicated, artistic and new lyrcial content in terms of meaning; however, I appreciate the fact that it addresses one of the most prominent issues in contemporary youth.

From completely musical standpoint we can hear decent pop-punk music, especially in the first half of the album, which represents the same old-schoold approach towards composing and performing verses and hooks. Cannot say that I could hear something new and really outstanding there, but I like the fact that the melodic content has been done on a decent level. The hooks are quite memorable and easy-to-listen. Additionally, they perfectly balance the depressive meaning of the lyrics with overall positive vibe.

In the second half of the album we can hear more rock-ish approach towards making musical content. The tracks are composed of couple chords or even notes being played in verses along with 2-3 power chords played in choruses. In other words, it becomes a standard, even cliche rock style. I’d like to admit that the vocals and occasional synths save this mediocre instrumental, despite the fact that the vocals are highly infused with auto-tune (no hate towards auto-tune but I’d appreciate more live vocal in this genre). All in all, 90% of musical content are based on the vocal lines, which have been made good enough to deliver the aforementioned message and be memorable, at least for me. Plus, I also liked the track “Leech” because of Sam Carter’s feature (I’m an Architects fan-boy, ye). And the closing track of the album sounds like a really positive and full of hopes ending towards the depressive and dark concept of the album.

As you can see, I’m really satisfied with this album despite the fact that there’re too many cliche details present in each pop-punk album. Nonetheless, it just worked for me because of the aforementioned reasons. That’s why it’s 4 out of 5 for me.

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