Generation RxGood Charlotte Label: MDDN, BMG Released: 09.14.18 Review by Alex Bear | September 11, 2018 at 6:00 PM
“Just forget the ones who let you go / Forget the ones too scared to know you
I’ll be waiting here to show you how to come back home
Some things never change, like the way I say I love you”
I didn’t know how much I needed this album. This past year has been tough for many of us, testing us emotionally, physically, in every way. And I know I’m not alone when I say, when things get really tough I turn to my escape: Music.
Good Charlotte found me, or I found them, at a time I needed a light in the darkness. Their songs captured how I was feeling and put what I couldn’t say into words. Even now, after over fifteen years of being part of the GC Fam, their music finds a way to reach me when nothing else will. GC have always spoken straight from the heart and it’s more present than ever with Generation Rx.
This is the band’s heaviest album in a long time—both musically and thematically—cutting deep in just nine tracks without taking a breath. And that’s a very powerful thing: Generation Rx is designed to tap into the pain of a whole generation in an attempt to understand it. One of GC’s classic intro songs opens the album with the lines: “Where does all this pain come from? / Where does it hide, where does it go?” They turn those questions inwards with “Self Help” looking at how the past keeps coming back to haunt them. “Searching for the meaning / Living in these feelings / I’m ready for a reason to believe” is a chorus that’ll make its way onto the tattoo sleeves of many and into the hearts of many more.
Every layer of the music fuels this intense rush of emotions through clap-along drumbeats and heavy synth-filled riffs. Generation Rx will take you back to The Young and the Hopeless days but the dance-filled edge will send shivers of fresh electricity down your spine. Of course, no GC album would be complete without a ballad: “Cold Song” is a piano-led number so poignant it’ll inspire every crowd to hold lights up and sway to the music as they sing and cry as one.
From the raw “Better Demons”, which features recordings from children who have become victims of the system, to the gut-punch lead single “Actual Pain” and the politically-charged “Prayers”, the band are delivering a message. Things in life, in society, in the world might be broken and heavy right now—without rhyme or reason—but you’re never alone in facing it. You need to keep fighting, and sometimes you have to work through the pain in order to move on and find better days.
Ultimately, Generation Rx is an album laced with hope. There’s a lot of anger and sorrow there but from it comes a plea for change. That’s why closing track “California (The Way I Say I Love You)”, which marks a change of pace from the rest, will hit you the hardest in a different way. It’s a promise of love, the kind that never fades away no matter how long it’s been, and with this track the album fully wins your heart. It’s a love letter to California, to family, to the lost ones…and ’til the very last note Generation Rx reminds you: No matter what happens, Good Charlotte’s music will always be there to carry you home.
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it: Buy it and work through all the emotions you’ve been holding onto with GC leading the way.