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Good Charlotte’s Not So Good Authority

Pop-punk Band’s New Album, ‘Youth Authority,’ Is Anthemic and Anemic


While nothing beats raw, unadulterated punk, there are few genres worse than pop punk, which, at its lowest, resembles whiny emo rock. Youth Authority doesn’t plunge Good Charlotte that low, but comes close after opener “Life Changes.” Nostalgic for Snoop & Dre, “40 Oz. Dream” delivers a sarcastic, AutoTuned assessment of today’s boring selfie culture (“Rappers were singing and rockers deejaying / There was no guitar on the songs that they’re playin’”). Yet Charlotte’s soft heart beats within sappy relationship songs (“Stray Dogs,” “Life Can’t Get Much Better”). The introspective “Reason to Stay” (boasting bombastic “whoa-oa-oa-ho” choruses) sounds readymade for the Bill & Ted 3 soundtrack. “Now all the punk rockers are over 40 / They’re coaching Little League and reading stories,” Joel Madden laments. If this anthemic, anemic album should be believed, hardcore was unsustainable; pop-punk, inevitable.

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