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The Critics Corner: Albums
Good Charlotte | Cardiology
Pop-punkers return with evolved sound on new album
Name: Cardiology
Label: Capitol
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Rating: 4.0/5

Review written by: Ashley Rosenberg

It is hard to believe that in the almost 15 years of Good Charlotte's presence on the music scene that they have only released four albums.  Though their music has changed through these years, the quality of their songs and albums has never been compromised.  Their newest album, Cardiology is an expansion of the band's creativity, depth, and talent.  The songs on this album are honest and come from a deeper place in the heart than some other songs that Good Charlotte has put out.

The albums starts off with a hypnotizing introductory track, Introducing Cardiology; though short, the lyrics talk about how cardiology controls us, which framed that the album would be about different types of love.

Let the Music Play is a song with energy for tuning out the world.  It's lyrics express that when everything is going wrong and the world isn't what you want it to be, that music is always there, even when it seems like there is nothing else.  This song carries a very relatable feeling for those who love music and turn to it when they feel like they need something else.  The guitar and energy in it make  Let the Music Play is a great song to turn up loud when you want to distract yourself from everything else going on and just be with music.

The third track, Counting the Days, is a song about how the ordinary and normal routine of life seem better when we have someone to share them with.  He and his girlfriend are no longer together and now the importance of going to work and coming home mean nothing to him since she is not there.  The drums in this song almost sound like a marching cadence, dictating the routine.  The song picks up with guitars during the chorus when he sings about how much he misses his girlfriend and how things were before they split up express passion and a love for life, contrasting to the hatred for the lonely monotony that it has become since.

Next is Silver Screen Romance; it has a great drum intro and an updated vintage feel to it.  This song takes stars of old Hollywood and puts them into a song that idealizes romance and love.  Though the song is placed in the twenties, it is updated by signature Good Charlotte beat, tune, and tattoos.

Like It's Her Birthday was the band's first single from this album.  The song is about his girlfriend going out, from his point of view.  He doesn't normally get to see her the way she gets when she goes out with her friends, so he is a little on edge.  The guitar in this song is fun, but almost sounds like an alert.  It's a great, upbeat song and picks up for more energy through the chorus.

The fourth track, Last Night  is a song about a foggy one night stand.  It's a fun song that is very relatable with a great guitar intro which pushes energy throughout the song.  Sex On The Radio is probably my favorite song on this album.  It's a flirty and fun song about having an infatuation with someone because of how they sounded on the radio.  The song has so much energy and really makes you want to move along with it.

Listening to Alive will bring back feelings of spending time with someone so special to you that you always felt different when you were around them.  You want no distractions, just to be with that person because they make you feel so alive.  The song is electric; the guitar and drum beats combine to sound almost like a heart beating fast, much like spending time with that special person makes you feel.

Standing Ovation, the seventh track slows the album down.  The harmonies and soothing guitar  combine with the lyrics to create a feeling of content simplicity.  The standing ovation is to appreciate life at its simplest, making the most out of everything and every opportunity that is presented no matter how small these things seem.

In the offbeat, heavier ways of Good Charlotte, Harlow's Song is gorgeous.  We don't often get to hear this side of Good Charlotte; the eerie, darker side, more reminiscent of their first album, but it is captured so wonderfully in this song.  It is a timeless and beautiful way to express a father's love for his daughter; his adoration and feelings that now that she is here, he does not think that he could live life without her.  It's a slow and simple song of love and dedication.

1979  is a song that is less electric than most of Good Charlotte's music.  The stripped down song has a more classic feel about it and tells of a simpler time.  I felt like this song reflected their opinion about how things are right now.  Everyone is so wrapped up in gadgets and things have become less personal.  In the song, the family is happy, spending time with each other face to face, and not as distracted by technology and gadgets as we are now.  Things meant more because the experiences were more natural and less busied than they are now.

The tenth track is a little sadder and little heavier than the other songs on this album.  Though he is happy about where he is now, that people know his name and his music, he has a lingering memory about a girl who liked him better before no one knew him.  There She Goes is a reflection about a relationship; at the beginning, she did not know him, but nobody knew him; he was completely different than the guys that she usually liked, but they ended up finding a spark and getting together.  The relationship evolved through thick and thin, but it ends up that his becoming famous had broken them apart.  The guitar plays a sweet sound; though the song is kind of sad, it also evokes realization that although he is happy, the memory of their love and relationship will always pull him back down.

Right Where I Belong is a perfect song to follow There She Goes.  This song really encompasses the realization that took a while for him to realize.  He has finally found his peace and his space where he is.  This song is a little lighter and is brought to life with the sound of the guitar as he sings his apology for the way he had acted when he felt like he had lost his way.  He is now content with where he is at the moment and feels closest to Gd and his spirituality for the first time in a long time in his life.

The album is concluded by Cardiology.  It is essentially a longer version of the introduction of the album.  It is equally as hypnotizing as the first track, but goes deeper.  Cardiology, or love guides us but we have to let it in.  Even if we think that other things rule the forces of our lives, it is love that affects everything we do.  We are always striving for some type of love even if we do not realize it.  This song is very simple; the background to the lyrics is muted music and vocal harmony, pushing the message and feelings deeper than if there were more instruments and sounds.

This album takes a more serious tone than Good Charlotte's previous albums.  It shows the growth of the band both musically and through life.  I feel like this album frames different parts of life that have really impacted the band in regards to different kinds of love.  It's like a realization that love is all around us and runs through every aspect of our lives whether we feel it or not.  Cardiology adds yet another facet to the music that Good Charlotte puts out.  It touches upon every type of music that they have put out since 1996 in a new and refreshing way.
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