November 20, 2003

Crypt of Mediocrity

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Who knew modern pop-punk was not considered “classical” enough for some elitist sophisticates in our local university bourgeoisie? So I figured I would try some of this “more traditional” classical music. I did some research and found that Mozart is from the eighteenth century. So I asked my dad what classical music he listened to when he was a kid. My dad was fairly displeased by my insolence, but it was just as possible he was simply angry he was born totally deaf. Coincidentally, perhaps so was Beethoven. Except Beethoven is such a long name, my attention faltered as I tried to type it into KaZaA and I ended up just searching for Bach. Well, actually, my search entry was more like “I’m bored.” My internet was down at the time.

Instead, I later searched for more Good Charlotte files. Here is a review of the band’s new song, “Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Opus 125: Fourth Movement”:

Good Charlotte’s last album, The Young and the Hopeless, was a popular corporate punk album reminiscent of such notorious rabble-rousers as Third Eye Blind and Sugar Ray. Admittedly, I was not particularly inured to their harmless blend of irritation and inertia last year. However, if this new single is any indication of their next album, I would say we have the most surprising band transformation since Kraftwerk traded their acoustic electronics for electric electronics at the E! Pre-Golden Globes ceremony in ’71. While Charlotte’s most popular song to date is “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” (a clever play on the clever play of the album title), I can effectively certify that “Opus 125” will supplant all of their old songs in the global consciousness. First of all, there is a much fuller sound on this recording. Drummer Aaron has supernaturally improved. His drumming sounds almost like an 80-piece orchestra deftly alternating between myriad themes. Guitarist Benji displays a powerful technique that turns his instrument into a subtle and chiming woodwind. The initial shock of hearing a sublime bassoon line in a pop-punk song is soon calmed by the comfort and agility of the musicians. Vocalist Joel Madden is perhaps the most affected by these modifications to Charlotte’s sound. His stereotypical rebel-posturing has been replaced by sensitive, astute lyrics, which are surprising to find in a band from the East Coast: “Freude, sch