Album Review: Greetings From California by The Madden Brothers

Twin brothers Benji and Joel Madden have come a long way since they first started their pop rock band Good Charlotte back in 1996, and the sound from their first album apart from that group proves just how much they’ve evolved over the years.  With a mellower vibe and musical style that ranges various genres, it’s clear that Good Charlotte was just the beginning for the Madden brothers.

The Madden Brothers’ debut as a duo is aptly titled Greetings From California, as all the songs throughout the album have a certain quality that make the listener think of cruising down the streets of L.A. with the top down, taking in sunshine and singing along to the radio.  Perhaps it’s the Beach Boys-esque style vocals and melodies, especially in singles like “Dear Jane” and “We Are Done,” that brings about this picture.

It’s not just old school sounds that have influenced the Madden Brothers in their new endeavor.  Tracks like “U R” have their signature use of acoustic guitar, but there’s a beat combined into it with elements of hip hop and R&B.  Some tracks, like “Jealousy (All Your Friends in Silverlake),” include an electronic keyboard sound prevalent in dance music.

What hasn’t changed is the Madden Brothers’ key ingredient of emotional lyrics, which if not listened to closely, are easy to lose in the infectious music.  In the track “Brother,” the twins create a tight harmony on a haunting chorus that says, “Say a prayer for me now won’t you brother/I’m so lost/Say it loud like my mother/I can’t speak/I’m too proud like my father.”

It’s easy to see these guys have diverged a path from their pop punk roots, but the risk has proven they are capable of breaking barriers successfully while still staying true to themselves.

Greetings From California is now available for purchase as of September 16th.

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