After nine months of building anticipation and teasing, Maryland musicians Good Charlotte have finally unleashed their long-awaited sixth studio album, Youth Authority. The thrilling twelve track undertaking features forty two minutes of refined pop punk perfection that may well represent the band’s best work to date.

“Life Changes” gets the record off to a spectacularly spirited start, showcasing salvos of penetrating riffs in between outbursts of expressive singing. “Makeshift Love” enlivens again in its wake with piercing but playful guitars that captivate across a collection of catchy choruses, resulting in a delightfully disaffected effort that feels simultaneously fresh and familiar.

“40 oz. Dream” acts as a characterful commentary on the effects of aging, adopting a tongue-in-cheek tone that keeps it captivating as it trots cheerily towards the touching introduction of “Life Can’t Get Much Better”. This awesomely uplifting anthem is guaranteed to get the crowds crying out enthusiastically at concerts with its incredibly infectious refrains.

Kellin Quinn comes in to contribute to “Keep Swingin’” next, teaming up with Joel to deliver an endearing duet ahead of a remarkably moving orchestral epilogue. The Sleeping with Sirens frontman hands the mic over to Scottish rock icon Simon Neil afterwards for another collaboration called “Reason to Stay”. The hard-hitting affair that follows takes cues from Biffy Clyro to create an incredibly powerful piece that lingers in the mind long after it’s over.

“Stray Dogs” is a soft and stirring offering that washes warmly across the senses before the brief but buoyant “Stick to Your Guns” bounces in to bridge the gap to the brilliantly upbeat opening of “The Outfield”. There’s something inexplicably soothing about this heartfelt addition, despite its loud and lively delivery.

“Cars Full of People” is a quick and cordial composition made up of emotional music and melodies that mesmerise until the urgent instrumentation of “War” takes over to cut deep underneath volleys of vigorous vocals. “Moving On” tones things down then, pacing off upon a mixture of poignant riffs and pleasant harmonies to put a compassionate cap on the proceedings.

Youth Authority demonstrates just how far Good Charlotte have come since they were singing about being young and hopeless. The iconic quintet have managed to make a record that exhibits a magnificently mature and optimistic outlook while still honouring the essence of the passionate pop punk sound for which they are famous. It’s sure to satisfy long-time fans and new enthusiasts alike. Head on over to iTunes to download it for yourself now.

Good Charlotte: Youth Authority

Graduate of NUI Maynooth’s Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there’s anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it’s writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at