Music Video >> Good Charlotte – “War”

This is one of my favorite tracks off of Good Charlotte’s latest album, Youth Authority. If you haven’t given the album a listen yet, I highly recommend spending some time with it.  As a longtime Good Charlotte fan, their music has alway struck a chord with me and this latest album especially did, being that we’re all grown now. Anyway, great album, great song, ,great music video. Hope you enjoy!

Wait…WHAT’s Favorite Albums of 2010

It’s that time where I reveal 10 albums that I enjoyed throughout the year. My picks are personal favorites that were in constant rotation in my car stereo. I think a couple of the albums are no brainers that they made the list, and there might be a couple surprises.

So, in no particular order, here are my favorite albums of 2010.

Music From Glee: Journey to Regionals EP

I have reviewed a lot of Glee music this year, and my favorite batch of songs came from the Journey to Regionals EP. I love the Journey covers, but the shining gem is Jonathan Groff’s cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Seriously, go take a listen. It’s absolute ear candy.

 

Darren Criss: Human EP

Darren Criss is hands down the best thing that’s happened to my iTunes this year. His Human EP is made up of five relatable tracks that will pull on your heartstrings. I can’t wait to see what this singer-songwriter can do with a full studio album.

 

 

Ke$ha: Animal

I didn’t really know what to make of Ke$ha when “Tik Tok” first came out. After taking a listen to her album, I realized that homegirl’s music is absolutely infectious. If you want to feel good and dance, Animal was where it was at this year.

Continue reading Wait…WHAT’s Favorite Albums of 2010

Good Charlotte Perform “Like It’s Her Birthday” On ‘Lopez Tonight’

Last night Good Charlotte performed their latest single, “Like It’s Her Birthday” on Lopez Tonight.

Check it out!

Seeing them doing promo for their new album Cardiology has been making me all kinds of nostalgic.

When I was in college, my part of my dorm room was covered in Good Charlotte posters and pictures I had taken at their shows. I couldn’t get enough of this band. In the span of two years, I saw them live four times. Each time was better than the previous time, even if there was two days inbetween shows.

If you want to see a band perform their heart out on top of putting on a great live show, whenever Good Charlotte heads out on tour, or if you’re lucky enough to see them while they’re doing promo, GO! I promise that you will not be disappointed.

And if you haven’t already, check out my review for their new album Cardiology that came out this week.

Music Review >> Good Charlotte – ‘Cardiology’

It seems that the guys of Good Charlotte have done a lot of growing up since their last album release in 2007. Their new album, Cardiology, touches on love, life, and family.

Originally formed in Waldorf, Maryland in 1996, Good Charlotte is Joel Madden (lead vocals), Benji Madden (vocals/guitar), Billy Martin (guitar/keyboard), Paul Thomas (bass), and latest addition Dean Butterworth (drums). To date, the band has sold over ten million albums.

When I talked to Good Charlotte’s guitar player, Billy Martin last month, he said that the recording process for this album was “a rollercoaster ride.” The band originally started recording Cardiology with producer Howard Benson, but decided to go in a different direction when the album wasn’t turning out how the band had originally envisioned it.

“We kind of just pulled the plug and started over later with Don Gilmore, who had done our last record (Good Morning Revival) and our first record (Good Charlotte),” Martin said. “We wanted to try something new with Howard, and it seemed like a good fit, but in the end it just wasn’t. We kept probably six or seven of those songs. We ended up throwing everything away and re-recording with Don and then a handful of new songs came out during the process.”

The result of going back into the studio with Gilmore is 15 of the best songs from Good Charlotte. The beats, melodies, and lyrics on Cardiology are nothing short of fantastic. There are a lot of different sides to this album; it really is as if they took the best parts of their previous albums, then went and made an album that all of their fans could really get behind.

“When I listen to our first records, it’s so innocent, and I think that we really managed to recapture that feeling with this record without actually repeating what we’ve done in the past,” lead singer Joel Madden explains in the band’s press release. “I get the same feeling of excitement listening to the record that I did when we first started making music.”

I have to agree with Madden on this. I feel like this album really throws back to the band’s first album, yet shows the progression of their music at the same time.  A great example of this is “Counting The Days,” which is reminiscent of their first album: it’s catchy, the melody is simple, yet there’s that something extra in the music that amps it up to the level where the band is at today. I think it would make a great choice for their second single.

Speaking of singles, “Like It’s Her Birthday” is a great bridge from Good Morning Revival to Cardiology. The song picks up from the last album, builds on it, and sets a great tone for this new album.

Also, I appreciated that “Like It’s Her Birthday” was not the first track on the album just because it happened to be the first single. The band really succeeded at making this album flow from song to song, making Cardiology a well rounded collection of solid music.

In songs like “Harlow’s Song (Can’t Dream Without You),” “1979,” and “Right Where I Belong,” you can tell how much the band has matured lyrically. These songs are a departure from the angst in some of their music from their earlier times, and the focus is on the good that they have had in their lives.

“A lot of the lyrics on this album are about being in a different place in my life,” Madden said in a press release. “There are some songs like “Harlow’s Song (Can’t Dream Without You)” that are directly about my kids or being in love and how being in a relationship changes the whole experience of my life, but a lot of the lyrics are introspective. Obviously we’re all in different places in our lives, but we’re giving our fans that same honesty we always have.”

As I was listening to the album, I kept envisioning hearing these new songs live, and the one that I think is going to be a huge crowd pleaser is “Standing Ovation.” It’s somewhat of a light-rock song, but has great sing-a-long potential. I think the band’s fans are going to really enjoy this track.

Musically, Cardiology really has its bases covered. There are the catchy pop tunes like “Silver Screen Romance,” the rockin’ party anthem “Last Night,” and the harder rock track, “Alive.” This album definitely shows progression in the band.

Cardiology is due out November 2. For more information on Good Charlotte, check out their official website.

Definite Downloads: “Counting The Days” and “Standing Ovation”

Originally posted on BlogCritics.

Interview >> Guitarist Billy Martin From Good Charlotte

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Good Charlotte’s guitar player, Billy Martin over the phone about the band’s upcoming album Cardiology. We talked about the recording process, how the band switched producers and record labels, and keeping up with their devoted fans.

First off, I just wanted to thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it.

Yeah, no problem.

How does it feel to be releasing your fifth album?

It’s amazing. Honestly, we think about that more than a lot of the other things that we get to do. Nowadays, longevity seems to be the hardest thing to maintain. I think really we just owe it to having good fans. They keep supporting us, it feels good.

Was the recording process for this album different than it had been for previous albums?

A little bit. When you’re five people, everybody has different ideas that everybody wants to do that has a different sort of end result. It’s hard finding that middle ground, and we definitely struggled a lot with that on our previous records, trying to all find a way to be happy and feel like you’ve gotten input. We’re just older now, like you said, it’s the fifth record and we’ve done it so many times that you realize that the bigger picture is more important that the pieces. We went in with no egos, no expectations, and said lets make a record that we know how to do and hope that we can make one that’s better than the previous record.

How many songs did you initially record for Cardiology before narrowing it down to what was going to be on the album?

This record was quite a roller coaster ride. There were a lot of demos. We originally started out doing this album with Howard Benson producing. He came in and picked a few demos out that he thought was strong and told us that we needed to keep working. We started tracking the record with him. We finished all the drums, all the bass. We got about halfway through the guitar and then we started doing vocals on some of the songs, and realized it just didn’t sound like we wanted it to. It was missing a lot of the heart and the soul that the demos had.

We kind of just pulled the plug and started over later with Don Gilmore, who had done our last record (Good Morning Revival) and our first record (Good Charlotte). We wanted to try something new with Howard, and it seemed like a good fit, but in the end it just wasn’t. We kept probably six or seven of those songs. We ended up throwing everything away and re-recording with Don and then a handful of new songs came out during the process.

So you worked with Don Gilmore on this album, and I noticed that some of the songs on this album sound reminiscent of your first album. Do you think this is because you worked with the same producer or was it something that just happened naturally in the recording process?

I’m not sure, because he is the same producer as our last record, which I think sounds the least like our first record. I don’t think it was totally the producer, because then our last record would have sounded more like the first two. I think consciously we had been experimenting on each album.

Our first record was really simple, simple melodies and simple hooks. The second record we started with more textures and sounds. The third record we got a little more experimental with strings and keyboards and really trying new stuff. The fourth record, we went a lot more heavy with the keyboards and brought a more dance-y kind of vibe. This record we kind of said alright, why don’t we take the best of all those records. Let’s keep it simple like the first record. Let’s have it be about the hooks, but lets make sure the songs are rich with all those textures and sounds that we like. We’re not going to ditch the keyboards, cause all of us really love electronic music and that’s something we found a way to put the music we like, but maybe just not as much as the last record.

We really tried to take the best of all our previous records and combine it to make the record that fans that love any of our records could listen to this one and be into. Not really super conscience; it just seemed like the right thing to do.

I think it worked out well for you guys. On previous albums, you have co-written tracks, I was wondering if you had any co-writes on this album as well?

No, I didn’t. My wife and I had a son a year and a half ago. I’ve been spending time really enjoying being “Dad,” and sort of being swept up in the whole family world. Part of me feels a little guilty that I didn’t come to the table with as many songs as I have in the past, but it just felt right.

There’s just not that many times in your life that your kid is born and you get to spend all that time with them. I really take advantage of not being on the road, and spend a lot of time with my family. I didn’t bring songs to the table, but now I’ve figured out how to balance my job and my family, I think for sure in the future I look forward to getting back in being more of a songwriter.

Continue reading Interview >> Guitarist Billy Martin From Good Charlotte