Greetings from The Madden Brothers


Abigail Adams '16, ARTS & LEISURE EDITOR

If  you weren’t dancing to “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” in your skinny jeans and Converse, you did not do 2002 justice. Joel and Benji Madden have come a long way since their Good Charlotte days. Their new album titled “Greetings from California” drops September 16. Although iTunes calls this alternative, the album has just a hint of everything from pop, rock, acoustic, and a little country.

Seeing as the Madden Brothers are now in their 30’s, the theme of their music has changed. Every song on this album has more meaning and more creativity. The Madden Brothers are now just that, The Madden Brothers. They have made a new name for themselves which will open up so many fantastic doors.

The album starts out with a cute little tune named “Dear Jane.” Cue a happy go lucky drum beat and a 70’s rock vibe and you are instantly drawn to this album. The muffled vocals show how their voices have improved over the many punk rock years.

Perfected harmonies plague this entire album especially on The Beatles-esque “Brixton”, the lead single “We Are Done”, and the album’s gorgeous acoustic closer “Empty Spirits.” Maybe it’s the fact that they are twins (that probably helps), but these two sound flawless together.

When I first heard their premiere single off the album, titled “We Are Done” I had no idea who was singing it, but I thought it was one of the coolest songs I had heard this summer. It seems like your everyday break up anthem but actually has a larger meaning than you think, which the video highlights very well. The lyrics say “We are/done with being a silent many/every voice rings out and carries…” The music video shows people of all ages, sizes, and colors holding up signs saying things they are done with including “bullying” and “being afraid.” After listening to the whole song it gives you a “song you would chant in a bar on a busy Friday night” kind of vibe.

The Madden Brothers also show a more romantic side on this album as seen on the song “U R” singing “You are in every lyric/you are in every chord…” A quick horn line adds a snazzy vintage touch to the song. “Love Pretenders” also focuses on the theme of love and how difficult it can be. A heavy chorus floods this song, which I think could be a very successful single.

There is no denying these California bad boys pulled influences from the West Coast as we hear lyrically on “California Rain” discussing their journey to success and the power of family on the song “Brother.”

One stand out track to me is the sweet story of a girl named Abby called “Good Gracious Abby.” The song is lined with a relaxed Congo drum and the soft vocals of the brothers as they sing about the hustle and bustle of everyday life and how boring it can get.  The song itself is a work of art, mixing so many different textures and wrapping it up in a lovely way. Maybe it’s because my name is in it, but this song could be my favorite off the album.

              The Madden Brothers will definitely still have their old fan base back but will also be gaining an entire new group of fans with the debut of this album.