Gina Mei
September 16, 2014 4:00 pm

When I was in middle school, Good Charlotte’s The Young and the Hopeless was probably one of my favorite CDs (and because it was the early 2000s, I had a lot of CDs obviously, so this really means something). Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous was my jam, and The Anthem was, you know, the anthem of that year. So when I heard Joel and Benji had started a new band together, the Madden Brothers, I was all for it, and their album Greetings From California did not disappoint. The two-sided release is an awesome mix of airy pop music and gorgeous harmonies, with some classic folk-rock influence thrown in for good measure. The album feels like music you can’t help but belt along to once you know the lyrics (even if you’re totally out of tune), and it’s great stuff whether or not you were a Good Charlotte fan. Below are just a few things we’re loving about the new release. We’re already playing it on repeat in the HelloGiggles office!

1.  How different the two sides are. 

Joel and Benji had fun with this record, and it shows. The album is arranged old-school-style: there are technically “two sides,” though thanks to modern technology you don’t have to flip any tapes. But the arrangement of the songs does encourage you to listen to the whole shebang in sequence. While the album works as a cohesive whole, there are slight but perceptible differences between the two sides that give them each a unique sound: “side A” is more power-pop and “side B” more classic rock.

2. The “driving along the Pacific Ocean in the California sunshine” vibes.

As a California girl, I loved the sort of modern day Beach Boys influence to the album—the song ‘Suddenly’ even has a shout-out to ‘Good Vibrations’! We feel you, Madden Brothers.

3. The sing-along factor.

Literally every song feels like something you’d sing along to, very loudly, in your car while speeding down the freeway. I love this in an album. Every once in a while I can get down with some weird, obscure music where I can’t really tell what they’re saying, but there’s nothing like lyrics you can really feel and/or want to scream into a hairbrush.

4. They know how to feel feels.

This album does a lot of lyrical exploration of relationships and love, and we’re into it. A lot of sugary-sweet pop can seem kind of empty (which is totally great sometimes, of course), but from ‘Dear Jane’ (their aptly-named version of a Dear John) to ‘Brother’, this album cuts through that and delivers on the feels.

5. Good Charlotte nostalgia.

While Madden Brothers and Good Charlotte are very different bands with notably different music, listening to the new album definitely reminded us of the days of GC yore. We can’t help but feel just a little bit of their pop-punk roots somewhere under the surface, and we love it.

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