Good Charlotte
Good Morning Revival


2.0
poor

Review

by Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF
March 18th, 2007 | 45 replies | 23,116 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Good Morning Revival is inconsistent; downright sinful at times, it contains sparks of brilliance and some very creditable pop moments.

There’s not a lot of reasons an album’s lyrics wouldn’t be printed in its liner notes: there may not be any; it could be too expensive to print; maybe the lyrics are so insightful, so inventive, that mere paper could not contain their awesome power; or, um, maybe they’re not.

If by now you haven’t figured out which camp Good Charlotte’s Good Morning Revival figures in, please leave. Now.

Lyrics will never be that important in pop music but it still takes some amount of mocksy to break a two-year radio silence with the phrase, ”as I walk through the valley of the shadow of LA,” the opening line of lead single ‘The River,’ or if not balls then a rush of blood somewhere other than the head. Slightly better planned is the appearance of Avenged Sevenfold pair M. Shadows and Synster Gates who add bridge/background vocals and a guitar solo respectively to an otherwise decently-constructed track that carries more than a hint of Alkaline Trio. The constant Biblical references demonstrate some ingenuity, however corny, but it’s the track’s clever arrangement which scores the most points; the bouncy, synth-anchored chorus probably didn’t do much for their chart ambitions but it affords the track a deal of longevity.

The production quality is a crowning grace throughout the album in the face of some very dodgy writing and bad musical choices. Good Charlotte have long been known for their loose ethics in terms of their songwriting- 2002’s ‘Girls & Boys’ skanked the guitar riff, melody and arrangement from the Marvelous 3’s ‘Freak of the Week’ without so much as a wink in the victim’s direction- and Good Morning Revival contains no sign of penance. ‘Victims of Love’ borrows extensively from t.A.T.u.’s electronic pop hit ‘All The Things She Said,’ closing ballad ‘March On’ only slightly alters the guitar riff and arrangement from The Killers’ ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ (did they just do a keyword search?), while Coldplay get it double with the ‘Don’t Panic’-aping ‘Beautiful World’ and ‘Where Would We Be Now,’ which borrows the piano part from ‘Clocks.’

There are less criminal similarities too; Joel Madden’s vocals increasingly resemble the high-pitched wandering of Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, though he’s nowhere near as comfortable in his higher reaches, while ‘The River’ and ‘Dance Floor Anthem’ were clearly conceived with The Killers’ Hot Fuss in mind. With that in mind, it becomes pretty clear that, even if they don’t know anything else, the Madden brothers and producer Don Gilmore know good pop music, and the clever, slick production is the evidence of the fact. Gilmore’s work on Linkin Park’s two albums to date comes in handy with the opening track proper ‘Misery’ which, through electronic touches and heavy-layered metallic guitars, echoes that group’s second album Meteora.

‘Keep Your Hands Off My Girl,’ despite the various product placements and the horrific line “I’ve got brass knuckles hanging from my neck to my chain,” harbours an interesting shifting beat and a distorted vocal that recalls Underworld’s classic single ‘Born Slippy,’ while the chorus comes straight from the top drawer. ‘Victims of Love’ is the album highlight despite the untimely exhumation of the robotic vocal effect Cher used on ‘Believe,’ but beyond that there’s not much cause to consider Good Morning Revival a keeper, and it’s not a particularly great track to begin with. The lyrical deficit rears its head again on ‘All Black’ which, stunningly, goes ahead and lists just about every black thing that could possibly be jammed into a four minute track barring the rapper he so clearly aspires to be. ”Like the seats in my Cadillac, all black” Yeah, ok, and your bank balance, buddy. Slightly more startling is Joel’s attack on “plastic” and “shallow” people during ‘Misery,’ words spoken slightly out of turn for the future Mr. Nicole Richie.

Good Morning Revival is inconsistent; downright sinful at times, it also contains sparks of brilliance and some very creditable pop moments. That they chose to lead with ‘The River’ is understandable- they wanted to re-establish some interest within the rock scene- however it’s not a great pop song to begin with and probably signifies the end of the band’s platinum-selling days. The sometimes flagrant theft of musical themes from other artists is irritating at best, especially since they’ve stopped ripping little-known songs and gone straight for recent hits. Though they’re generally executed quite well they offer little value above the “originals,” and the top tracks are packed to the front of the deck, making the second half of the album difficult to endure.

I’m a firm believer in silver linings however, and Good Morning Revival shimmers with the best of them: Joel’s ex Hilary Duff released a preview of her new album Dignity ( is this title too heavy-handed?) last week, and it sounds a hell of a lot better than this!



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Comments:Add a Comment 
trustxdialect
March 19th 2007



1502 Comments


I love you. This is my rating for the album, and I've got a review going for this. But you basically touch upon most of what I hate about the album.

AmericnZero02
March 19th 2007



3329 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

All this review told me was that GC has crappy lyics and rips off other artists. Doesn't really give me much of an idea of what it sounds like or how this album differs from thier previous efforts.

ToWhatEnd
March 19th 2007



3172 Comments


I don't believe I'm saying this but this album is better than you give it credit for.

trustxdialect
March 19th 2007



1502 Comments


No. And, uh, no.

ToWhatEnd
March 19th 2007



3172 Comments


I'd say at least average. Not saying this is life changing and that it doesn't have it lolthisisterrible momments, it has a few of those actually.

The Sludge
March 19th 2007



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Where would I hear this at? I'm intrigued.

Oddsen
March 19th 2007



1127 Comments


Nice review. Does this sound anything like Plus-44

Intransit
March 19th 2007



2797 Comments


Yep. Good work, but I won't bother with this. Keep Your Hands off my Girl was just a terribly disastrous bowel movement.

trustxdialect
March 19th 2007



1502 Comments


Sludge, it's on albumbase. That's where I found it.

Canyoneer, that's the best description I've heard so far.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2007



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ugh this album was disappointing

The Sludge
March 19th 2007



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is very disappointing, yet I'm growing into it so far.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2007



2634 Comments


I might check out "The River" just to see what all the fuss is about, but "The Motivation Proclamation" will be the only Good Charlotte song I thoroughly enjoy (pending listening to this album, which, by all accounts, seems to yield no "Motivation"-esque tracks).
Fantabulous review as always.

CushMG15
March 19th 2007



1802 Comments


I'll probably check out The River, just for the sake of seeing what Gates does. Great Review.

The Jungler
March 19th 2007



4827 Comments


Damn, I was hoping this would be good. The River is cool at least.
Good job on the review.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2007



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ugh have to wait a fucking week to submit mine

ToWhatEnd
March 19th 2007



3172 Comments


Yeah I think that's a really dumb rule. That is that staff gets to release reviews like a week before, if it was like a day before it would be better. Or not at all.

ToWhatEnd
March 19th 2007



3172 Comments


Well damn it sucks to live here then.

NOTINTHEFACE
March 19th 2007



1653 Comments


Despite my inherent weakness to pop-punk, I despise these guys. The River, while more tolerable than their previous singles (Girls and Boys made me want to drop a toaster into my bathtub) is still nothing more than uncreative drivel. I'm glad to hear the singer's voice has improved, though. At least they're improving the worst part about them. But I still can't foresee myself checking this album out ever in my life.

Great review, by the way. Your first few paragraphs are classic. :-P

samthebassman
March 20th 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The track "take your hands of my girl" is horrific and what makes it suck beyond belief is that the douche guitarist has NIN stickkers on his guitar, Trent would kill himself if he saw that.

Tyler
Emeritus
March 21st 2007



7928 Comments


win/win



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