'Cardiology' is the longawaited, to say the least, return of Good Charlotte. Have they still got it?
After a year-long, twice-over recording process due to Good Charlotte’s dissatisfaction with the record’s first cut (they sacked producer Howard Benson during take one for directing them towards an overly mainstream-orientated sound), ‘Cardiology’ is longawaited, to say the least. Commercially-driven producers or not, though, the band have a knack for keeping their sound current and contemporary – tracks like ‘Let The Music Play’ and ‘Silver Screen Romance’ wouldn’t sound out of place next to songs by Forever The Sickest Kids or Out Of Sight – while still being reminiscent of their early material. Songwriting-wise, they’ve found a formula and refined it over their five albums, rather than stuck rigidly to it. It’s a simple one – the lyrics are straightforward, whether they’re casual, on ‘Like It’s Her Birthday’ and ‘Sex On The Radio’, or candid on ‘Harlow’s Song (Can’t Dream Without You)’ and ‘1979’, which chronicles guitarist Benji Madden’s present and past family lives. Musically, they’ve ditched their early material’s urban (ish) influences, while maintaining the fun parts of pop-punk. So we’re left with the Good Charlotte that brought us the brilliantly catchy ‘Seasons’ or ‘Festival Song’, without the awkward rapping interludes. And for that we thank them.