The Chronicles of Life and Death

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The Chronicles of Life and Death
Studio album by Good Charlotte
Released October 5, 2004 (2004-10-05)
Recorded Barefoot Studios, Hollywood, California
Genre Pop punk, alternative rock, emo
Length 57:41
Label Daylight
Producer Eric Valentine
Good Charlotte chronology
Bootlegs
(2004)
The Chronicles of Life and Death
(2004)
Good Morning Revival
(2007)
Singles from The Chronicles of Life and Death
  1. "Predictable"
    Released: September 18, 2004
  2. "I Just Wanna Live"
    Released: November 15, 2004
  3. "The Chronicles of Life and Death"
    Released: June 3, 2005
  4. "We Believe"
    Released: August 15, 2005

The Chronicles of Life and Death is the third full-length studio album by Good Charlotte, released on October 5, 2004, through Daylight Records. The album was released with two different versions: a "Life" and a "Death" version which came with different cover art (designed by guitarist Billy Martin) and a special bonus track. There is also a Japanese version that has a different cover art as well as the special bonus tracks from both the "Life" and "Death" versions, including the hidden track "Wounded" at the end of the album. The album sold 117,000 in the first week.[1] The Chronicles of Life and Death is the first and only album to feature Chris Wilson on drums.

Composition[edit]

The album has been widely considered a departure from their previous two albums, mixing new elements such as lyrical topics into Good Charlotte's youthful sound. Some sources have referred to the album as "emo". The album has different music styles. The opener track "Once Upon A Time: The Battle of Life and Death" is an instrumental opener with strings, a Japanese choir and an organ. "The Truth" is a piano ballad, and "I Just Wanna Live" has a hip hop beat with synthesized strings. Lyrically, the album also focuses on darker and more serious subject matter. "The World Is Black" is about apathy, "S.O.S" is about suicide, and "In This World (Murder) is about abortion.

Reception[edit]

Commercial Performance[edit]

The album was a decent commercial success, with the singles "I Just Wanna Live" and "Predictable" peaking decently on the charts. The album sold well, selling over 2.2 million copies. However, the album did not do as well commercially as their previous album did.

Critical Reactions[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 53/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press 6/10 stars[4]
Blender 3/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[5]
IGN 2/10 stars[6]
Kerrang! 3/5 stars
Q 2/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau (C+)[7]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[8]
Spin (6.7/10)
Stylus Magazine (B−)[9]

The album has received generally mixed reviews. At Metacritic, the album gained a 53 out of 100 based on 16 reviews. The New York Times gave a negative review, saying that the album was "full of ham-fisted ideas". New Musical Express also gave a negative review, saying "Half the time, Good Charlotte sound like Blink-182 after the snip, the other half they sound like the Backstreet Boys without the songs".

However, Entertainment Weekly called the album "A giant leap forward--in instrumental prowess, and in emotional and melodic scope". Billboard said "The band takes its proven peppy rock sound to new heights". E! Online also gave it a positive review, saying "Pulling off the tricky balancing act of aiming for mainstream success while keeping one's street cred intact, songs like 'Ghost of You' and 'Predictable' abandon the band's mall-rat roots in exchange for more mature influences like U2 and Muse". Sputnikmusic gave the album a 3.5 out of 5, saying "'The Chronicles Of Life And Death' stands as a testament to a mediocre pop quartet that went the extra mile to be sincere and produce an authentic, respectable piece of work".

Village Voice gave the album a C+, saying "Beyond some rich-and-famous irony, not a single suburban detail soils an hour of good intentions. And you know the music overreaches too." Q Magazine said "It's nothing if not ambitious... [but] they simply don't have the depth, or the authority, to pull it off."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Benji and Joel Madden except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Once Upon a Time: The Battle of Life and Death" (B. Madden, Eric Valentine) 2:25
2. "The Chronicles of Life and Death"   3:03
3. "Walk Away (Maybe)"   3:21
4. "S.O.S."   3:42
5. "I Just Wanna Live" (B. Madden, J. Madden, John Feldmann) 2:46
6. "Ghost of You" (B. Madden, J. Madden, Billy Martin) 4:51
7. "Predictable"   3:11
8. "Secrets"   3:54
9. "The Truth" (B. Madden, J. Madden, Feldman) 3:56
10. "The World Is Black"   3:06
11. "Mountain" (B. Madden, J. Madden, Martin) 4:34
12. "We Believe"   3:52
13. "It Wasn't Enough" (B. Madden, J. Madden, Feldmann) 3:24
14. "In This World (Murder)" (30 seconds of silence at end of track) 5:27
Total length:
57:41

Personnel[edit]

Good Charlotte
Performance credits
  • Michele Ito – vocals, translation on "Once Upon a Time: The Battle of Life and Death"
  • Chikako Horii – vocals, translation on "Once Upon a Time: The Battle of Life and Death"
Visuals and imagery
  • Billy Martin – drawings, concept
  • Domestic Dan – coloration, design
Instruments
Technical and production
  • Eric Valentine – production, engineering, mixing, mastering
  • Jacquire King – mixing of "Meet My Maker
  • Andy Hunt – mixing assistant of "Meet My Maker"
  • Matt Radosevich – editing, programming, additional engineering
  • Trevor Whatever – studio assistant
  • Chris Roach – studio assistant
  • Stephen Jarvis – equipment guru
  • Samuel Bennett – errand boy
Managerial
  • Steve Feinberg – management
  • Mike Martinovich – management
  • Michael Markarian – financial management
  • Phil Sarna – business management
  • Mark Scribner – business management
  • Don Kaplan – legal
  • David MasseyA&R
  • Evan L – A&R coordinator

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
2004 Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1
Austrian Album Chart[10] 11
Billboard 200[11] 3
Billboard 200 Year-end Chart[12] 17
Billboard Comprehensive Albums 3
Top Canadian Albums 2
Alternative Canadian Albums Chart[13] 13
Finnish Album Chart[10] 34
French Album Chart[10] 32
Italian Album Chart[14] 41
Japanese Album Chart[15] 7
New Zealand Album Chart[10] 11
Swedish Album Chart[10] 13
Swiss Album Chart[10] 20
Top Internet Albums 1
U.K. Album Chart[11] 8
2005 Billboard 200 Year-end Chart[16] 11
Billboard European Top 100 Albums 55

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
2004 "I Just Wanna Live" Top 40 Mainstream 36
"Predictable" Modern Rock Tracks 28
Top 40 Mainstream 20

Certifications[edit]

Country Sales Certification
Australia 70,000 Platinum[17]
Austria 15,000 Gold[18]
Germany 100,000 Gold[19]
Japan 100,000 Gold[20]
U.K. 100,000 Gold[21]
U.S. 1,000,000 Platinum[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Good Charlotte Takes On 'Life And Death'". Billboard.com. Billboard. October 9, 2004. Archived from the original on December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Metacritic Good Charlotte". Metacritic. 
  3. ^ The Chronicles of Life and Death at AllMusic
  4. ^ a b c "Critic Reviews for The Chronicles Of Life And Death". Metacritic. 2004. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ Michael Endelman (October 8, 2004). "The Chronicles of Life and Death Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "JR" (November 10, 2004). "The Chronicles Of Life And Death - IGN". IGN. Music.ign.com. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ Robert Christgau. "CG [Consumer Guide]: Good Charlotte". Robertchristgau.com. Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ Jenny Eliscu (October 28, 2004). "The Chronicles Of Life And Death ("Life" Version) : Good Charlotte : Review : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ Anthony Miccio (October 18, 2004). Good Charlotte - The Chronicles Of Life & Death - Review. Stylus Magazine. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Good Charlotte - The Chronicles Of Life And Death". Swisscharts.com. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Chart Data: Good Charlotte". Mariah-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  12. ^ "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Billboard.com. Billboard. December 31, 2004. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  13. ^ "CANOE - JAM! Music SoundScan Charts". Jam.canoe.ca. Canoe. December 23, 2004. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ "FIMI - Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana - Benvenuto!" [FIMI - Italian Music Industry Federation - Welcome!] (in Italian). Fimi.it. December 15, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Good Charlotte". Oricon (in Japanese). August 28, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Billboard 200 : Dec 31, 2005 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. Dec 31, 2005. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2004 Albums". Aria.com.au. Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  18. ^ "IFPI Austria - Verband der Österreichischen Musikwirtschaft]" [The Association of Austrian Music Industry]. IFPI.at (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  19. ^ "IFPI Germany". IFPI.de (in German). [dead link]
  20. ^ "ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2004年9月" [September 2004 Gold etc. Certified Works List]. Riaj.or.jp (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. October 10, 2004. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Home". Bpi.co.uk. The British Recorded Music Industry. Retrieved December 21, 2013. [not specific enough to verify]
  22. ^ RIAA USA[dead link]
Preceded by
American Idiot by Green Day
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
October 11–17, 2004
Succeeded by
Songs About Jane by Maroon 5