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Youth Authority


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Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Benji Madden (vocals, guitar); Joel Madden (vocals); Billy Martin (guitar); Zac Solomon (horns); Dean Butterworth (drums); Zakk Cervini, Matt Pauling (programming).
  • Recording information: Foxy Studios.
  • Editors: Courtney Ballard; Devon Corey; Zakk Cervini; Tyler Sheppard; Zach Tuch; Matt Pauling.
  • Photographer: Aaron Farley.
  • Reuniting after a six-year hiatus -- during which time, leading sibling Joel and Benji Madden pursued a soft rock busman's holiday as the Madden Brothers -- Good Charlotte find themselves in a curious position with 2016's Youth Authority. Despite the adolescent yawp of the title, it's no guarantee that Good Charlotte are anything like authorities on youth: the Maddens are staring down middle age, realizing that their connection to teens may be slipping away. Such self-consciousness leads them toward mawkishness and nostalgia -- the latter surfaces on "40 Oz. Dream," a remember-the-'90s stroll through the past where they're shocked by rappers singing and rockers DJ'ing -- a trait that turns endearing when combined with the incessant hunger of the faster numbers. Good Charlotte do not eschew modern sounds -- a good chunk of the album pulsates to synthesized sequences and even the surging rockers contain a digital sheen -- and this willingness to embrace modern sounds helps temper how the group is, at its core, a Y2K punk band, a fourth generation group who cherishes a clean attack as much as self-expression and who have never sneered at a mainstream wanting to get a little wild. All of these ideas feed into Youth Authority, a record that gleams but also roars, an album that still feels the pull of adolescent rebellion even as middle age sentimentality begins to descend. This may mean the record isn't perfect -- the slower stuff often turns sticky -- but the group wear their heart on their sleeves and, somehow, that tendency is more endearing as the Maddens turn into middle age warriors. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Spin - "Opener 'Life Changes' is a classic pop-punk song, the kind of couch-jumping, detention-earning anthem that unleashes your inner juvenile delinquent."

Alternative Press - "The sixth album from the Maryland-turned-Californian pop punks is stuffed with moments that recall nearly every era of the band's existence....In the end, it feels less like a retread and more like a continuation -- and a celebration -- of the good old days."
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