2018 Good Charlotte is a lot like that aging family dog that everyone stills loves, but is clearly slowing down and quite frankly is starting to smell a lot. You’re not going to have it put down, it’s unconditional love, but maybe you start paying attention to it a little bit less, as it lurks in some corner or under the bed, stinking up the whole place.
Generation Rx (released September 14th, 2018) has the brothers Madden closing in on forty but still addressing a much younger audience that you have trouble believing they can still relate to. It’s not to say that people in their forties don’t experience similar or the same problems as people in their twenties; it just seems to be a bit forced on this record, as if Good Charlotte are only doing it to relive the mid 2000s. When done right, a return to form can be an absolutely stellar piece of art but what Good Charlotte thrived on in the early to mid 2000s were anthems! Get it? “The Anthem,” “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,” “I Just Wanna Live,” these were absolute bangers and Generation Rx doesn’t have one. Good Charlotte are at their best when they turn the dial up on the party punk, good time vibes and their latest effort is a morose, overproduced collection of songs about loneliness “Generation Rx,” and pain (not the fake kind) “Actual Pain,” that are just treading water in an ever populous, murky emo pool.
I would have applauded an album that strived to go in a completely different direction, I would have tolerated an album that tried to replicate The Young and the Hopeless, sadly Generation Rx does neither of these things. It is almost caught between the two. Diehards may find some redeeming qualities on this album, for my money “Prayers” is the best track, but the majority audience and the casual listener will likely not find anything worth adding to their rotation on this album.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy