It is never an easy feat when a new music act forms out of one that is already known, but The Madden Brothers are going to do just that. Mostly seen as the leading forces behind the punk/pop-rock group, Good Charlotte, twin brothers Benji and Joel Madden have split from the band and released the first track from their upcoming “solo” project. The track, We Are Done, is a lot less punk and a lot more pop-influenced than any songs released with their predecessor group. It has an airy summer feel that will not only make others take notice, but might make their older fans scratch their heads in confusion. It is definitely a risk for the 35-year-old twins.
Although the song is new, the idea around it is not. The Madden Brothers have been toying around with this very different way of music since 2012. Working with producers such as Pharrell Williams (who will be a judge for the upcoming American season of The Voice), they initially hoped to release their album later that year, but the plans fell through. Instead of simply stopping right there, the two soldiered on and continued to work with different musical genres. Those sounds will see a fuller release on their upcoming album, Greetings from California.
We Are Done has the potential to be a huge hit for radio, but Benji states that the album was not necessarily recorded with the idea of being “radio-friendly.”
“The idea was to not hide behind a band name or a genre,” he explained to the Daily Mail, “but rather to write some songs, and find someone to record them.” He also hoped that the people working with them for the album would help them “deliver the truest picture of who we are musically.”
They have a lot to live up to, even though strangely enough, they are only going up against themselves. The Madden Brothers, as part of Good Charlotte, have sold over seven million albums worldwide. Their biggest seller The Young and The Hopeless, was released in 2002 and solidified their punk fame. However, they are no strangers to testing a new sound. Another album from Good Charlotte, 2007’s Good Morning Revival, saw them transform their rock sounds into one that had more of a dance feel, especially on tracks such as the properly titled Dance Floor Anthem (I Don’t Wanna Be in Love).
Greetings from California stretches The Madden Brothers’ originality. One part of the album is delegated to more of the “upbeat, sunny pop-rock” sound heard in We Are Done. The other is more folk and “earthy.” One of the standouts on the album, which is being released on October 6, is a song called California Rain. According to the twosome, they were inspired to compose the track after meeting with Williams in Miami, Florida.
“Benji brought an acoustic guitar,” Joel recalled to Entertainment Focus. “It felt like a repeat of us leaving home at 18 for California with nothing but an acoustic guitar.”
As for the group that made them famous, there is no definitive word regarding a comeback. There were rumors that the band would come together for a new album later in 2014, however, with a tour coming up for their side project, The Madden Brothers may be giving the heave-ho to Good Charlotte for now.
By Jonathan Brown