In the wake of bands such as Blink-182 and Green Day, American Rock music had a commercially acceptable way for their own wave of Punk music around the dawn of the 21st century to be recognised. Good Charlotte was one of those bands and their second album released in 2002 got a lot of attention and good ratings from fans. Still, is this release worth hearing? Let’s find out.

A New Beginning begins with a toybox style melody and some additional sounds, before launching into something akin to what would be on a movie soundtrack. A bit odd, but good nonetheless. It’s only brief. Soon enough, a thrashy Punk number emerges and we are underway through this album. This is a good beginning for this album, and perhaps proof that the band weren’t overly serious about the musical impact that they had. Some nice power chords are present here, and this does sound really great. The song slows down in speed and pitch at the end. Interesting.

The Anthem begins with some good chords, a Pop/Punk feel that is awesome and a great song at hand. Strangely enough, these guys sound a lot like Blink-182 copycats, and they probably are. A great song is present about wanting to be one’s own original self, and this is surprisingly good. “Go to college, go to University, get a real job…that’s what they said to me,” is an awesome lyric that proves the overbearing foolish nature of being stuck in a reality demanded by others. This is an amazing sounding song and the band plays very furiously. Sure, this isn’t the most original music out there, but it is punchy and effective. A classic sounding guitar solo is present in the second half before the song continues with many great surprises. A great tune that works extremely well.

Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous begins with pounding drums and ghostly reversed guitars, before launching into a classic tune that was incredibly popular on release as a single. This is a fairly straightforward song about the rampant egotism that people who are celebrities have. The chorus is magical, and this is something all Punk fans should hear about such people in the limelight. The bridge and chorus in particular are very direct and worth your time. An excellent and interesting song, complete with a set of Nine Inch Nails styled breakdowns throughout. A great number, something you should hear if you think of celebrities as Gods. Excellent work from start to finish.

Wondering begins with some clean Fender sounding guitar riffs, and some direct lyrical singing, before bursting into a decent Pop/Punk song that sounds like a promising number. The music present here is very straightforward Rock music about relationship issues with a partner. A really cool tune nonetheless, although this isn’t as good as the previous song. Despite that, this is still a good song, especially in the chorus. There is a neat guitar solo present that sounds very much like a tone never really explored before in music. A great sort of song about youthful romance and being true to a partner, regardless of the circumstances. There is a key change towards the end before this piece of songcraft ends with sustained chords. Good job.

The Story of My Old Man begins with some pounding drum beats, and jangly guitars and quickly launches into a song about a father who is an alcoholic which is actually fairly strange and somewhat darkly comical, for the listener. This is not filler, this is actually very punchy, decent and well crafted Pop/Punk music for the masses. A weird and unusual song about one’s father who destroys everything that he has in his life, this is a decent and close-to-the-bone tune.

Girls & Boys begins with some sampled chatter, before launching into another song which acts as a tale of postmodern life. This song is true about some partners out there, be they men or women. Despite this divisive topic to listen to about partners taking advantage of each other, this is a good song for what it is. An enjoyable piece of music regardless, this has a good breakdown in the second half with some rather interesting guitar work. This then concludes with that instrumentation all the way through to the fade out. A short number, but another good listen.

My Bloody Valentine is likely where that band got their name from, this song. This song begins with some sounds of rain and thunder before singing emerges into a vocoder and this song gets going soon enough. The music present here is a great Pop/Punk song about relationship issues at hand. Still, this is a rather Emo music sounding piece lyrically matched to some traditional Pop Punk music. Nonetheless, the variety is appreciated on this album, and the tune is a good one. With references to one having bloody hands, this isn’t light listening. This sounds like a rather messed up tale but is a good piece of songcraft regardless. Messed up lyrically, it ends with some string sections. Close to the bone, all right.

Hold On begins with some nice clean guitar arpeggios in the left channel, with some flanger based watery guitar parts in the right channel. This song eventually gets going, and we have a song about emotional issues that one has. Nonetheless, this music is a little heavy lyrically, but it tells the listener reassuringly to hold on throughout difficult circumstances. A very wonderful piece of music, all the same, this points out quite clearly that a lot of the critics who disliked the band did not listen to the music properly. There is a Grungey midsection, before launching into a stop/start piece of music that sounds quite intense. Nonetheless, a decent listening experience that is about keeping faith in life, which is a good message. Decent tune, it ends with some interesting guitar work.

Riot Girl begins with some more powerful chords and riffs and thrashy drums. This song is about a sort of girl that Good Charlotte themselves lust after, which isn’t the most politically correct statement out there. A loud, powerful and punchy statement that is short and sweet. A good tune, albeit a selfish tune, that is still worth hearing. A good tune throughout, with some amazing guitar playing and soloing, this still sounds quite good today. Great and powerful, this is a good piece of music, despite its sexual overtones. Nice work. It ends after just over two minutes long.

Say Anything begins with some interesting percussion and excellent bass guitar playing before some guitar riffs enter. This tune is about more teenage romance styled relationship issues. This isn’t exactly an optimistic listen, but this is quite forgivable as it is still a good tune. This song is quite a deep and meaningful one, about pleading with a girl to stay together. A sad tune, but nonetheless, a well constructed and nice played tune, this is one for when you want to hear a song about preserving a relationship. The second half has a nice, yet melancholy build-up to an excellently emotional climax. Beautiful, yet tragic, this is an excellent listen. A great listen for all the misery lyrically, this ends with sustained chords. Good but very sad.

The Day That I Die begins with a dog barking, before launching into another song that focuses on more melancholy sounds. This song is seemingly about suicide, which isn’t exactly light and happy listening here. All the same, this is okay but is not one of the better songs from this album. Regardless, Good Charlotte makes a very good impression on songs such as these. This is an answer to Blink-182’s Adam’s Song. A good piece of music regardless, this ends fairly quickly and has a sample of a dog barking and a guy saying, “Good boy!” Not the strongest song here, but good nonetheless.

The Young & the Hopeless begins with some intense guitar riffing, before launching into another song that is more of the same. Quite frankly, although this is the title track, it is not as good as it could be. This song would have been bettered if it didn’t sound so depressing and quite frankly, uninspired. The drumming and pace make up for an otherwise ordinary listen of this album, which is disappointing by this stage in some areas. There is a nifty breakdown, followed by a rather ordinary guitar solo. You could likely skip this one, if you choose, it is not the best song on this album. It ends with repeated vocals stating, “I don’t care,” and guitars feeding back. Ordinary, to say the least.

Emotionless begins with a smooth vocal, strummed acoustic guitar and some very sharp and direct lyrics. This is more music about broken relationships of the past, which is again, depressing but good to hear. The song is really Emo music and a melancholy statement that is perfectly understandable for those who have been isolated by an ex-lover. A gorgeous ballad with some lush instrumentation about it, this sounds remarkably moving. If you need a good tearjerker Punk song, this is one of the better ones, especially in the chorus. There is a long and beautiful outro to hear, and this is a very good listen regardless of any depressing music that is here.

Movin’ On begins with some truly awful guitar playing just before this song launches into a decent and much more upbeat Pop Punk song. This is the better side of Good Charlotte, being a more optimistic song to boot. A very enjoyable tune to finish up a fairly good album to listen to, the combination of Punk Rock riffs, Pop sensibilities and great performance excels expectations. A great conclusion to an album that is surprisingly good. There is a good suspenseful section in the second half, before launching back into the mayhem of the chorus. A chaotic finish with sustained overdriven guitar chords is present. Nice work.

This album is a good yet imperfect Pop Punk effort from the beginning of the 21st century that is fairly underrated and needs more praise and listening from the general public. Sure, there are a few lesser tracks on here, but this did not stop Good Charlotte from getting some well deserved recognition as a group. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in particular got noticed as a single, which gave the group a brief celebrity status. If you are sick of Blink-182 and Sum 41, this is a good record to hear if you dig Pop Punk. Nice work overall.

A fistful of fury and tunes.