Thursday, March 25, 2004

#33) Good Charlotte - The Young And The Hopeless (released in 2002, I bought this after seeing the video for "Lifestyles Of The Rich And The Famous," which immediately struck me as mainstream Desaparecidos. I figured that if I reviewed it the purchase would pay for itself, since it probably sucked.)

Besides all the stuff I mentioned here, I adore this album because I refuse to engage in self-loathing. I get maudlin about relationships, estranged family and trying to live my life the way I think it should be lived. I like big rock hooks and lots of them. I like harmonies, pride, enthusiasm, spirited drum fills, honesty, empathy, shameless musical and lyrical thievery, dramatic string sections and Eric Valentine's flamboyant, playful production style (he's also worked with Smashmouth and QOTSA). Evidently, these guys love all this stuff too. The title track, which originally struck me as being redundant, wound up being my favorite single of 2003 (wrote a wee review of it on an ILX thread I should revive). Benji's verse on the track makes up my favorite 20 seconds on the album. I tried to pretend it was kneejerk and overly defensive but fuck it - these critics and these trust fund kids try to tell me what punk is, but when I see them on the street they've got nothing to say.

I'm not shocked in the slightest that this album has sold millions and stayed in the Billboard top 100 for well over a year. Hell, if the band wasn't hungry to make another album, I'd suggest they could push out even more singles from this - "Riot Girl" & "Say Anthing" are DYING for radio play. "The Day That I Die" and "My Bloody Valentine" would be too if they weren't respectively about killing yourself and your rival. That I've never heard another critic talk about how great this album is (even just on a power-pop craft level) is one of the main reasons I'm writing.

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