Youth Authority review
Author: alexa lawlor | Staff Writer
Good Charlotte is back and 2005 should be psyched!
Throughout 2015, and so far in 2016, the pop-punk genre has been making an incredible revival. From the rising popularity of newer bands in the genre, to reunions and new albums from classic 90s and early 2000s pop-punk bands, the genre is certainly gaining popularity again.
No pop-punk revival would be complete without Good Charlotte, memorable for albums The Young and the Hopeless and The Chronicles of Life and Death, which were released in the early 2000’s. A new album, the first to be released after the band’s five-year hiatus, was released on July 15. The album, titled Youth Authority, has twelve tracks, as well as a bonus track titled “Rise” if you download it from iTunes. In support of the album, the band will be touring on the 2016 Vans Warped Tour from July 19 to July 28, as well as heading over to the UK for a few shows.
Overall, the album sounds a bit different from the typical Good Charlotte that most fans love. However, the songs are still recognizable as Good Charlotte, and are worth checking out. In a few of the songs on Youth Authority, someone familiar with the older Good Charlotte will be able to recognize a few references to the past. For example, in “The Outfield,” one of the last tracks on the album, they reference being “the young and the hopeless” directly, which is both the title of their second album, as well as a song from it.
Youth Authority has a few interesting collaborations. The first includes Kellin Quinn, from the band Sleeping with Sirens. Quinn is featured on the track titled “Keep Swingin.” The second features Simon Neil, of Biffy Clyro and Marmaduke Duke, on “Reason to Stay.” Generally, collaborations are not my favourite. However, these two tracks are certainly exceptions. The guest vocals fit with the band perfectly, adding to the overall feel and impact of the song, rather than being a distraction and sounding like they were added in at the last second.
The most prominent theme throughout the album is change. The songs cover both the benefits and the consequences of change, as well as how it affects you as you grow older. All of the members are close to 40-years-old, with the band itself being around for 20 years. Despite being called Youth Authority, it is fairly obvious at times that the members are middle-aged. However, considering most fans have grown up with the band, the theme of growing older certainly resonates with the fans that have been listening to Good Charlotte for years, while at the same time, the album still creates the feel of angst typical for a Good Charlotte record.
In my opinion, the most noteworthy songs off of Youth Authority are “Life Can’t Get Much Better,” “The Outfield,” and “War” (not to be confused with “WAR,” from the Greatest Remixes album released in 2008). I would also highly recommend downloading the extra song from iTunes, because I feel that “Rise” is a much better close to the album than “Moving On,” which simply is not a strong enough song to finish off the album.
Overall, I think Youth Authority is a great comeback album for Good Charlotte. The album has a great mix of catchy choruses that make you want to sing at the top of your lungs, while also covering important themes through meaningful lyrics.