Review: Youth Authority

Youth Authority was the sixth studio album released by Good Charlotte on July 15th.  This album was a long time coming after the November 2015 release of the lead single, Makeshift Love.  You can watch the music video for the track here:

Now I’ve always been a fan of Good Charlotte, even though I don’t follow the band religiously, and on first listen it seems obvious to me that the band have stayed true to their trademark sound.  Vocalist Joel Madden sounds just the same as ever, and the tracks are made up of a winning combination of pop punk tracks with electronic influences.

Some might say that the band should be more experimental and move on from their older sound, but following their more experimental pop-sounding record Cardiology and four year hiatus, it doesn’t surprise me that Good Charlotte have gone back and explored their roots a little within Youth Authority.

There are two tracks featuring guest vocalists on Youth Authority: Keep Swingin’ features Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens and a lovely string instrumental, and Reason To Stay features a crooning verse by Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro.  These songs do break the slight monotony of the album,and Reason To Stay especially is an album highlight for me.

Overall, this latest record has a very consistent sound, and even on first listen I was tapping my foot and nodding my head along to the tracks.  It’s a fun album and very easy to listen to and enjoy, especially if you’re feeling nostalgic for the late ’90s and early noughties.  However, few tracks really stand out as exceptional to me; not even the singles Makeshift Love or 40 oz. Dream, which is a surprise as I would expect the strongest tracks to be released as singles.

Plus, I quite enjoy that even though their sound is very similar to previous albums, the lyrical content of this album has matured.  Unlike blink-182’s California, which I reviewed earlier this month and was very nostalgic for the band’s youth, Good Charlotte seem to have grown up slightly and are looking forward rather than returning to the past.

I imagine that long term fans of Good Charlotte will be more than happy with Youth Authority, however new listeners who may not have listened to their previous albums may be questioning why it sounds a little like a noughties throwback.  For me, I definitely enjoyed this album, and whilst it isn’t an exceptional piece of work, I reckon it’s a solid record with potential for mainstream popularity alongside die-hard pop punk fans.

Highlights: Life Changes, Reason To Stay, The Outfield, War