The punk-pop band Good Charlotte released a brand-new, nine track LP on Friday. The album named “Generation Rx,” is the seventh full-length studio release from the group headlined by brothers Joel and Benji Madden. The short 30-minute project discusses topics such as drug use and mental illness. Although “Generation Rx” isn’t quite at the level of Good Charlotte’s best work, it’s definitely a step up from the last few albums.
The name addresses an addiction to prescription pills that is crippling the young generation of today. The band was inspired to spread their message after the passing of rapper Lil Peep, who overdosed on pills at age 21. Throughout the album, Good Charlotte discusses the use of opioids to sooth the pain of mental illness. In their prime, Good Charlotte was a band who made music “by the kids for the kids,” but the lyrics by the aging rock group now seem like they’re taking on a mentor role to their younger audience.
The album itself conveys a gloomy mood throughout thanks to the dark background arrangements and sorrowful lyrics. After a brief titular intro-track, “Self-Help” continuously erupts with quick guitar riffs and impactful drum rolls. The high-energy track is very reminiscent to the band’s roots in pop punk. Subsequent tracks “Shadowboxer” and “Actual Pain” are the highlight of the LP. While they tone down the energy brought by “Self-Help,” they make up for it with smooth hooks and meaningful lyrics.
The center of the album contains the slower and more emotional tracks of the bunch. In a reflection on school shootings, the band makes an important statement in the song “Prayers.” The next downtempo track, “Cold Song,” does not quite have the same effect.
Moving forward, Good Charlotte picks up the tempo with the alternative rock track “Leech.” This edgy rock anthem features a guest appearance by lead vocalist of “The Architect,” Sam Carter. The LP finishes off with “Better Demons” and “California (the way I say I love you).” While these are solid tracks respectively, they both seem a little too upbeat for the mood of the album.
“Generation Rx” was enjoyable to listen to, however I don’t see it catching too much attention. None of the songs really stood out or made me want to listen again. The band just does not have the same energy that it once did. But on a positive note, the overall message of the album is extremely important and one that should be heard. Good Charlotte makes a significant connection with its young audience through themes about the dangers of drug use and dealing with mental illness. Ironically, in an album talking almost exclusively about darkness, “Generation Rx” is the bright spot of the last few studio releases by Good Charlotte. With that being said, I was hoping for something a little more memorable.
Matt Souvigney is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.