#WildCardWednesday: Good Charlotte – ‘Actual Pain’


   

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Good Charlotte are back and damn are we excited!

Their sixth studio album, Youth Authority (2016), saw the band rise back to the success of their fourth album, Good Morning Revival (2007), both peaking at Number 13 in the UK Charts. Now, with their seventh album, Generation Rx, due out in September 2018, we hope to see them replicate or even surpass this.

Certainly, if new single, ‘Actual Pain’, is anything to go by, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The new single has managed to strike a perfect balance between some of their more synth-driven, pop-rock songs like ‘Dance Floor Anthem’ and ‘Misery’ and earlier, guitar-infused and more sincere tracks like ‘Hold On’ and ‘We Believe’.

This type of combination of their sounds is driving the band into a new era and is sure to please both old fans as well as capture new ones. It’s a really strong single that’s got me excited to hear the rest of the new album! I wonder if they’ll have one of their epic, atmospheric intro tracks, like they used to?!

The music video for this track is emotive, depicting a boy reminiscing about the good times he shared with his mother, during his childhood and how that changed over time. It appears is a narrative-driven music video, interspersed with GC performance – a great, new video from the band!

What are your thoughts of the band’s latest single? Are you excited about their new album, Generation Rx? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Actual Pain’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/actual-pain-single/1384922354


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*UPDATE* #Playlist: Save A Life – How Music Helped Save Me…


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22nd December 2017

The idea for this post came about whilst I was contemplating creating the annual Christmas playlist I’ve done since I started Muzik Speaks back in 2015, but I quickly realised that I was purely doing it because of the time of year and with the thoughts that as a music blog, I should probably pump out something Christmassy.

Inside though, I’m just not feeling like celebrating Christmas this year and truth be told, I’ve been through a very dark patch for a few months now.I began this blog as a lover of music (ever since I can remember) but also with the old saying in mind that “music speaks louder than words” and I truly believe that in many ways, it does…hence the blog name!

However, since September this year, I was propelled into an incredibly difficult place and since then my head has gone through a very dark, deeply depressive and isolated state and it’s only now, that I’m starting to see some distant, very small rays of light at the end of the long, outstretched tunnel ahead, but with those rays, they have brought just a scrap of positivity into my life.

During the period I mentioned, one of the first things to take a hit was my passion for music – something which has always been an obsession of mine, and looking back, that was a key indicator that I was suffering from depression, although I couldn’t recognise it at the time. I’ll be honest and say that at my lowest point, for a couple of weeks or so, I contemplated suicide almost every day, for what I was being put through and how I was being treated and self-harm was something that alleviated just a tiny bit of the desire/waves of compulsion I felt, to end my life. I wish I hadn’t I let myself get to that stage now, and would never advocate someone do that, but I share this as a plea for people to seek support from whoever and wherever they can, to help give them some much needed strength during their darkest times.

As cliché as it sounds, the song ‘1-800-273-8255’ by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid came into my life by happy accident and instantly made an impact on me – it truly kept me going for a couple of weeks straight.

And then slowly but surely over the last few weeks, my passion for music has been really reignited – by mainly angry/empowering rock songs at first; Thirty Seconds To Mars‘This Is War’ was on repeat for a few days and then more recently, Linkin Park‘s ‘Faint’. The tone to those two songs really helped me to channel the anger I was feeling about the place I was in and charged me up with a little renewed strength.

However once I’d started to get over the anger, I began to truly take time to reflect where I was at with my mental state and objectively begin to deal with my dark thoughts and the things that were eating me up inside. It was at that point that a whole host of songs began to play their part in reshaping me and helping me to truly confront with what I was going through.

That is why I decided to create a playlist that is very personal to me and filled it with the songs that had a hand in keeping me alive, helped me to regain a fraction of my normal self and begin to deal with things, each in their own unique way.

Save A Life - Colour

I guess in some way, I’m hoping that this playlist will reach even just one person who is going through a similar rough patch and that it helps them to fight back against their depression and regain their confidence and love of life, or that someone who has already come out the other side can relate to this and appreciate the songs for their unique qualities, thought-provoking lyrics and/or empowering styles.

I should add that I have been very lucky to have my partner, family, some good friends and even my dog (not that she’ll ever know it) to support me through this bleak time and they too have played a vital role in helping me get through this.

Additionally, I sought some counselling – at first it was over the phone but I quickly found that I was craving some human interaction and so went to meet a counsellor and that too has been invaluable to helping me, so I recognise that whilst it’s not entirely the music that has helped me, it was during the times, when I was alone, that this music kept me company, provided me with time to think and played a vital role in aiding me to recover some of my former mental well-being.

I just think that at this time of year, people can feel so alone and having been through what I have, I understand that not everything is joyous for everyone at Christmas time and so I am hoping this playlist will provide something different for people who are feeling down, depressed or suicidal and that it might provide some sort of pick-me-up that you might need or that my story or the music strike a chord with someone and give them something to stop and think about.

My message to anyone who is struggling is just know that things can get better if you hang in there. Believe in yourself and most importantly, take each day as it comes. Fill your time with things you enjoy doing, however small or simple – embrace them. Talk to whoever you feel comfortable talking to, whether it be friends, family or someone anonymous via a helpline – don’t bottle things up. Find joy in music you love, films you enjoy or any other things you like to do and try to take your mind off what you’re worrying about and try to envisage what a happier future would look like.

Finally, I really would like to take the time to ask you to donate to a good cause – if you are going through something similar to me, you have already been through it and managed to come out the other side or even just that you have enjoyed this playlist or felt something for my story, then please visit our JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/muzik-speaks or www.papyrus-uk.org/donate (please quote Muzik Speaks somewhere in your donation) and make a donation – £5 is enough to pay for one phone call, text or e-mail with a young person – you truly can help ‘Save a Life’.
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*UPDATE* – 8th July 2018

Life continues to get better, but I still find I have to take it day by day. My journey through fighting what I’ve been put through continues, but music is certainly helping to empower me. Sure, I still find I have ups and downs and there are certainly days where dark thoughts pass through my mind and there are definitely times where I’m consumed by rage but I suppose that’s all part of the healing process.

I also have to reflect on the good things in life; my loving partner, my beautiful dog and companion, my wonderful family, my ever-supportive friends, music, this blog…there’s lots to be positive about! That’s so important when you’re finding life tough – no matter how hard it is and how hopeless you might feel, take just a minute to try and find something positive, no matter how small it may be and reflect on that. Try to push the dark thoughts out of your mind (or at least to the back of it) and know that life can get better, you just have to hang in there.

And talking. I still maintain that finding someone, anyone, you can trust and talk to, is paramount to fighting your inner demons. The old saying, “A problem shared, is a problem halved,” is very true and should not be underestimated.

I feel this journey may continue for many months to come, until I feel fully back to my normal self, and so undoubtedly this playlist will continue to grow but in the months since I first posted this, I have found 10 new tracks that have continued to help me.From the beautiful William Ryan Key‘s ‘Vultures’ to the angry anthem that is ‘F.W.T.B.’ by Yonaka; Panic! At The Disco‘s ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’ is a satirical and uplifting track whilst A R I Z O N A‘s ‘Freaking Out’ helps with those times you just want to let loose and go a bit mental; music is really helping to heal some of the pain.

So, to all of those on this playlist, thank you for making your music. You don’t know how much you’ve helped, and continue to help!

Playlist

  1. Greyson Chance – Seasons
  2. Logic – 1-800-273-8255 featuring Alessia Cara Khalid
  3. You+Me – Open Door
  4. Kesha – Praying
  5. Years & Years – Eyes Shut
  6. Demi Lovato – Skyscraper
  7. Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You
  8. Kyan Palmer – Burn Mona Lisa
  9. The Fray – How To Save A Life
  10. Angels & Airwaves – A Little’s Enough
  11. SafetySuit – These Times
  12. Jessie J – Who You Are
  13. Nicki Minaj – Fly featuring Rihanna
  14. Thirty Seconds To Mars – This Is War
  15. Linkin Park – Faint
  16. Yellowcard – Fighting
  17. Story Of The Year – Can Anybody Hear Me
  18. Jimmy Eat World – Electable (Give It Up)
  19. Angels & Airwaves – Lifeline
  20. Good Charlotte – We Believe
  21. SafetySuit – Looking Up
  22. Remedy Drive – Daylight
  23. Bars & Melody – Scream
  24. MUNA – I Know A Place
  25. Kesha – Learn To Let Go
  26. Superfruit – Future Friends (Brian Robert Jones Choir Remix)
  27. You+Me – Unbeliever
  28. You Me At Six – Carpe Diem
  29. Simple Plan – I Don’t Wanna Be Sad
  30. OneRepublic – I Lived

Update – July 2018

31. William Ryan Key – Vultures
32. A R I Z O N A – Freaking Out
33. Shawn Mendes – In My Blood
34. The 1975 – Give Yourself A Try
35. YONAKA – F.W.T.B.
36. Good Charlotte – Actual Pain
37. Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry
38. Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There
39. Panic! At The Disco – (Fuck A) Silver Lining
40. SafetySuit – Victory


If you have a story you are willing to share or you want to discuss anything in this post, then please leave a comment; I would just ask that you remain sensitive with what you write on this post please. I also urge you that if you yourself are feeling suicidal or you are concerned about someone, to please call PAPYRUS on 0800 068 4141, text 07786 209697 or e-mail pat@papyrus-uk.org – whilst I am always happy to talk, I’m not a trained professional but people at PAPYRUS are, and will do their best to help.


#reDISCOVERED: Good Charlotte

Welcome to our first re:DISCOVERED post!

Although this post is a trial, to see the reactions it gets, these posts will hopefully be a monthly occurrence, appearing on the first Sunday of every month (the Sunday after our monthly playlist).

This month, we have #reDISCOVERED: Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte Banner2

Good Charlotte originated from Waldorf, Maryland, USA and formed in 1995. Since 1998, the band has consisted of four constant members; twins Joel and Benji Madden, Paul Thomas and Billy Martin; then, since 2005, they have had drummer Dean Butterworth on board.

The band’s frontmen, the Madden twins, had a relatively rough childhood; on Christmas Eve 1995, the pair’s father upped and left, leaving the rest of the family to be evicted from their house. They then went on to work a whole host of jobs to help keep their family in their new home, as their mother had the autoimmune disease, lupus, meaning that she regularly stayed in hospitals. It was in 1996 their band began to take shape and record demos, launching them into their career, slowly but surely. This band and its members are ones I feel truly deserve to be where they are; they’ve worked their way up from nothing, to their global successes and achievements – a true marvel!


Good Charlotte

In September 2000, Good Charlotte released their debut album, Good Charlotte, with their first single, Little Things, being featured in the film, Dude, Where’s My Car?

The band went on to release a couple of other singles from the album, but the next track I want to feature is WaldorfWorldwide which is an album track also taken from their debut album. This song has a very ska-punk feel to it and caught my attention due to it’s interesting vibe.


The Young and the Hopeless

It was in 2002 (USA) and 2003 (Worldwide), when GC released their second album, The Young and the Hopeless, that they fully captured the world’s attention with their first single off the album, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This track was iconic dude to its intense pop-punk sound and lyrical content about celebrities and their lack of appreciation for how privileged they are.

Next I’ve chosen single, The Anthem, which literally is an anthem for the band! The video featured cameo appearances from other American pop-punk bands, MEST and Home GrownNew Found Glory were also present at the filming, but weren’t featured in the final video. This particular song has gone on to be featured in a whole host of films, soundtracks and television programmes.

The third single from the album, Girls & Boys, has to be mentioned due to it’s popularity; up to this point this was their highest charting single in the UK, reaching number 6. The song is themed around girls basically being gold-diggers and the video featured elderly people playing video games and ends with Benji Madden, waking up to find an elderly lady in his t-shirt!

The final from this album was Hold On and this song particularly struck a chord with me due to its video. The song was written by the band, in response to letters they received from fans who said they were considering suicide. The video then featured several people talking about their experiences of either surviving suicide attempts or talking about loved ones they’d lost to suicide. This song feels personal and like it speaks out to fans – it’s a song to bring people, going through similar things, together.


The Chronicles of Life and Death

The first single from this 2004 album was Predictable and saw an angrier side to GC. I particularly liked this song at the time, due to its angry, almost-spoken, sections – it really was every emo-kids wet dream to chant along to…and sort of still is! The video was interesting too, taking place in an almost Edward Scissorhands-like town, which was actually drawn by band member, Billy Martin.

Next, I’ve chosen the title track from the album, The Chronicles of Life and Death – this song has quite a plodding feel to its verses before bursting into an anthemic chorus about life and death, as is the song’s theme. It’s quite a simple, yet effective track.

The final song I’ve chosen from this album is the song We Believe; as well as being the final single from the album, this song captured me from the very first listen of the album. I adore the build-up from the mellow verses to the more beautifully chaotic choruses – even the instrumental breakdown feels passionate. It’s a real chanter and makes you feel like you’re part of something special when you sing along. This is possibly one of my favourite GC songs!


Good Morning Revival

Released in 2007, this album saw GC move from pop-punk to dance-punk with its more synth-infused sound. I have chosen the first single off this album, The River, as it is one of my other, favourite GC tracks, featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from the band, Avenged Sevenfold. The song features several Bible references but has a very catchy chorus.

The next song I’d like to mention is Misery, which although was released as the fourth single taken from the album, did not ever have a music video. This song really encapsulates their dance-punk sound from this album; the bridge from the verse to the chorus has an interesting, fast-sung quality to it and works well with the synths underlying the song.

The final song I’ve chosen from this album, was the album track, Broken Hearts Parade, as it’s got a very ska-punk quality to it, similar to their track WaldorfWorldwide from their earlier days.

This album also saw the band support Justin Timberlake on some dates of his FutureSex/LoveSounds Tour.


Cardiology

In 2010, GC released their fifth album. This particular album saw the band return to their more pop-punk sound, with Benji Madden stating that the album would “sound a lot like Blink-182.”

I’ve chosen album track Counting The Days as my first featured song from this album; I love the gang vocals towards the end of the song as it would make a real crowd-pleaser at a live show!

The penultimate track was the second single released from GC’s fifth album, Sex On The Radio. The song’s all-consuming chorus makes you sing along and whilst it’s sort of cheesy, it’s got quite a 1970s/1980s rock feel to it, making it quite a stand-out track.

The last song I’ve chosen is GC’s final single release (to date!), 1979. This sound has a very summery feel to it with its predominantly acoustic-driven sound. It also paved the way for The Madden Brothers‘ debut album, Greetings From California, which has a similar vibe, even though it wouldn’t come for another four years after this album. You can read more about The Madden Brothers on our recent #FeelGoodFriday post.


So here it is, the full list of Good Charlotte, re:DISCOVERED. Please feel free to watch the playlist on YouTube or listen to it on Spotify, both of which are found below:

  1. Little Things
  2. WaldorfWorldwide
  3. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
  4. The Anthem
  5. Girls & Boys
  6. Hold On
  7. Predictable
  8. The Chronicles of Life and Death
  9. We Believe
  10. The River featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates
  11. Misery
  12. Broken Hearts Parade
  13. Let The Music Play
  14. Sex On The Radio
  15. 1979

As for the future of Good Charlotte, no one is certain. The band are rumoured to be working on a sixth album, but nothing is set in stone, as of yet. We’ll keep you updated though.


I hope you’ve enjoyed our first re:DISCOVERED post about a band who mean a great deal to me. Are you a Good Charlotte fan? What are your favourite songs by the band? Please share this with your friends on your social media accounts and spread the GC love.

Matt – Muzik Speaks