Pop punk superstars, Good Charlotte, are back after their nearly five-year break. The band announced the end of their hiatus late last year and shortly after released their single “Makeshift Love.” Last November, the group played their first show since 2009 at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. The band released their highly anticipated sixth album, Youth Authority, on July 15, 2016, and it went straight to number three on U.S. iTunes charts and straight to number one in Australia.
Youth Authority brings you back to the early 2000s, prime time for pop punk music and bands. This record feels pleasantly similar to the group’s popular 2003 album, The Young And The Hopeless. The opening song, “Life Changes,” propels you back in time to your angst-filled middle school days where you would get home from school and jump around your room to your favorite group’s newest record and cry to your friends over how relatable the lyrics were. The third track, “40 Oz. Dream,” seems to be a tribute to how different today is from 2003. The lyrics directly talk about how it is no longer 2003, rap music, selfies, and how “all the punk rockers are over 40.” Jumping around the disc a bit, the ninth track, “The Outfield,” even pays homage to their 2003 album with the lyrics “we were the young and hopeless.”
The album features two guests, Pierce The Veil’s frontman, Kellin Quinn, and Simon Neil, Scottish vocalist and guitarist of the band Biffy Clyro. If the sound they were trying to achieve with Quinn was one similar to his own band, then they succeeded. Quinn’s unique voice comes through very strongly on the track, “Keep Swingin,” and morphs the two bands’ sounds together in an amazing way. The track with Neil, “Reason To Stay,” is one of the only slow, ballad-type songs on the album. While ballads never seemed to be Good Charlotte’s strong suit, Neil’s smooth sound ties into the song perfectly and definitely makes it one of the group’s better slow songs.
2016 seems to be the year where late ‘90s and early 2000s bands are making a comeback. With acts like Blink-182, Simple Plan, Weezer, and now Good Charlotte all coming out with new albums, nostalgia is definitely being felt all around, in the best way. Youth Authority is definitely a record that any fan of this genre is going to want to get their hands on and let it bring them back to a simpler time of middle school dances and failed math tests.