Album: The Young and the Hopeless
In an interview with MTV.com, Benji Madden of Good Charlotte said “I did come to certain points of my life where I thought that [suicide] was an option” and that “Hold On” is to give troubled fans hope. According to MTV.com, the video has parents of kids who committed suicide, those who have tried, and photos of those that did.
However, “Hold On” patronizes its teenage listeners by talking down to them. Good Charlotte are like adults who speak to foreigners in English, but much louder and thinking that the person will understand them better. The misguided single begins like it’s going to be a serious ballad, but the electric guitar picks up and brings it to a mid-tempo pace. Joel Madden tells teenagers in the first verse “You’re feeling sad/ you’re feeling lonely/and no one seems to care/you’re mother’s gone/and your father hits you/the pain you cannot bear.” So far, the song sounds like a Teen HelpLine commercial, but set to the really hip music kids are listening to nowadays. In his monotone voice, he reassures them that everybody feels that way. For the chorus, he lets them know that if life gets too rough and you’ve had enough, hang on. ‘Cause everybody hurts. Sometimes. It’s the gist of it.
References are made to depression in the second verse (“Your days/you say they’re way too long/and your nights/you can’t sleep at all”) Then for some odd reason, perhaps to maintain what little punk cred they have, the song degenerates into noise, as Joel Madden sings “what are you looking for.” The chorus is repeated until the end (‘Hold on if you feel like letting go/Hold on it gets better than you know.”)
Good Charlotte, please stop trying to save America’s youth. That’s Jewel’s job and the last time I read, she wants it back.