Good Charlotte are quite a weird band. They’re clearly the kind of band who like to exude a rebellious aura, which can be seen just by looking at them. They like to appear daring, with a childish attitude and dry sense of humour, which can be seen in their videos and their lyrics. They also come across as the kind of band who care a lot for their fans, and their niche as the “Rebellious 30-Something Rebels With Rebellious Attitude To Anything That Carries Responsibility”. So it wouldn’t be too harsh to draw this conclusion: Good Charlotte are a band that cares for their image, niche, and fans.
But wait, what about the music?
Well, from a band that looks like they’ve never really grown up since their teenage years, their new offering ‘Like It’s Her Birthday’ appears to straddle the fence between their rockier sound and their more disposable poppier one. In the past, they’ve released songs like ‘Girls & Boys’ which was all very fun and commercial, particularly with the kids (they just love it, don’t they?), but then there’s their far more edgy, less commercial material that fulfils their “Bad band” image like (everybody in a scary robot voice now!) ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Girl’.
As well as this, ‘Like It’s Her Birthday’ actually shows some sort of maturity amongst the brash, “party animal” vibe of their previous records, as Joel appears to be complaining about his fit girlf getting wasted like it’s her birthday, as if, God FORBID, Good Charlotte are gradually turning AGAINST having fun; acting like the big black cloud over the party fireworks. You wait, in five years time they’ll be the equivalent of Bob Dylan at his most philosophical. Mark my words, ite? Even so, the lyrics don’t appears to be quite up to Mr. Dylan’s standard quite yet, as Joel manages to spin the lyrics “This ain’t the night I thought it’d be/And she ain’t shy apparently”, without so much as a little quiver of cringe in his voice as he does so. Shame on you right there, Joel.
For a Good Charlotte song, ‘Like It’s Her Birthday’ succeeds at keeping the rockier vibe for the verses, but also succeeds at adding a little more up-to-date synth action for the pre-chorus and chorus. Now, The Hoosiers will gladly tell you, putting an electropop twist on a rock band won’t always bode well for you. But here, Good Charlotte – whilst being lyrically a little too clumsy – make the balance very well, as did The Hoosiers, in case you were wondering why I brought them in to this, but it’s clear Good Charlotte have more of the “HELLO UK. WE’RE BACK, DID YOU MISS US? GOOD NOW SHUT UP AND LISTEN” than The Hoosiers do, I think it’s fair to say.
See, even the band themselves have scrubbed up, wearing mostly white for the video.
At the end of they day, it’s an alright rock song, but it works even better if you think of it as a pop song. Good Charlotte, in all their rebellious rebelness, may not want me to say that, but it’s obvious this song was meant to be released as a single that would actually chart worldwide, hence why it’s far more disposable and a lot more fun than some of their other US only releases.
Rating: 3.0 STARS
Download: November 22, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Cardiology’