It’s formulaic Good Charlotte with the aptly named “Predictable,” but the boys obviously are moving on. The first clue is the album opener, “Once Upon a Time: the Battle of Life and Death,” an orchestrated number sung by what sounds like a choir of French schoolgirls. That song gives way to the title cut, done with a happy, Beatles-like sparkle that emphasizes the just-for-fun notion that prevails throughout Chronicles.
And is it just me, or is singer Joel Madden sounding more and more like Elvis Costello every day? It’s great to hear a group that refuses to be stagnant, and while not every experiment here works, there are moments of near-genius that make Chronicles a keeper.
The Chronicles of Life and Death is currently available.