Cardiology in a Heartbeat

Rebecca Kollmann

Good Charlotte has experimented with a significantly different sound on each of their albums. Their self-titled debut album was relatable pop-punk fueled by snotty teen angst, while their breakthrough Young and the Hopeless album skyrocketed them to fame.

Subsequently, The Chronicles of Life and Death proved to be darker and included unique features, like a children’s choir in the introductory track.

Their last album, Good Morning Revival, strayed a bit from their rock roots and included more disco-dance influences. It also showcased lead singer Joel Madden’s Hollywood tabloid life with wife Nicole Richie. This tabloid life of reckless fun and one-night stands continues on their latest release, and it is further hinted at in songs like “Last Night” and “Sex on the Radio.”

It is difficult to describe where Good Charlotte’s new album, Cardiology, fits in their anthology, other than containing bits and pieces of all their previous works. Songs like the title track may indicate that the band has lost their spark to the extent that they write about biological processes analogous to a relationship. Fortunately, songs like “Counting the Days,” “Alive,” and “Crash” will provide familiar relief to listeners, while “Harlow’s Song” is an unexpected lullaby tribute to Madden’s daughter. As a nice end to the album, “Right Where I Belong” brings back the band’s spiritual references from their previous albums.

Overall, being the band’s fifth studio release, it may appear that the band is “losing steam.” Many fans are probably wondering how much longer the band will be able to produce interesting, meaningful songs that don’t sound like many other Hollywood bands. Diehard Good Charlotte fans will appreciate this album and any other mainstream effort that the band decides to produce in the future.