BOTTOM LINE Moving beyond the lifestyles of the rich and the famous.
On their new album “Generation Rx” (MDDN/BMG), Good Charlotte’s Madden twins, Benji and Joel, tackle current issues with the same brashness they used to puncture the lifestyles of the rich and the famous when they started out two decades ago.
The single “Prayers” shows how much things have changed, as they use a straightforward rock framework to throw punches at “thoughts and prayers” culture. “I see a little girl who’s crying ‘cause she lost her family,” sings Joel Madden. “All these strangers sending thoughts and prayers, she’s buried underneath.”
It’s a powerful image, delivered simply, showing how effective a rock anthem can still be at that. On the soaring rock ballad “Cold Song,” Good Charlotte shows they can handle massive arrangements as well, using them to offer support, “I want you to know, you’re not alone.”
On “Actual Pain,” they take on the opioid crisis. “Shadow Boxer” takes on bullying and esteem issues with raging guitars. While their views on these topics may not be deep, they are certainly memorable, making “Generation Rx” a first step that could introduce fans to a lot of new ideas.