Single Review: Good Charlotte “Girls & Boys”

Girls And Boys
Album: Young and Hopeless
Year: 2003

Joel Madden envies rich, pretty guys who get shallow women in the acrid “Girls And Boys.”

A shy guitar and low chatter start the single. The guitar becomes harsh to accompany the sniping Madden as he describes the guy who he could never be: wealthy, wearing designer clothes and with a college degree. However, he insults them by saying they are humorless and socially inept but like to wave their money around. (“Educated/With money/He’s well dressed/Not funny/And not much to say in/Most conversations/But he’ll put the bill in/All situations/Cause he pays for everything.”) His ignorance is apparent when he says “put the bill” insead of “foot the bill.” If Madden intends to demean people with an education, he needs to learn some basic English.

In the chorus, he lashes out at every girl who turned him down for the popular guy with the cool car. He stereotypes all girls as materialistic. Then, he randomly says that guys will pretend that a girl is able to tell a successful joke in order to get in her pants. (“Girls don’t like boys, girls like cars and money/Boys will laugh at girls when they’re not funny.”)

He continues to say women don’t care how the guys pay, as long they have cash or a credit card. The typical woman is self-indulgent, spending money on lavish vacations and carrying home a truckful of bags from the mall. She’s manipulative and willing to object herself for an article of clothing. It’s the sort of girl who would appeal to the guy he hates. He snickers at the fact that the rich guys are pulled in by women. (“Paper/Or plastic/Don’t matter/she’ll have it/Vacations/And shopping sprees/These are a few of her favorite things/She’ll get what she wants/If she’s willing to please/His type of girl/Always comes with a fee/Hey, now, there’s nothing for free.”)

Madden says “let’s go!” and there’s a guitar solo.

He adds in the chorus that thin, athletic women will go after guys with luxury cars. (“Girls don’t like boys, girls like cars and money…the girls with the bodies like boys with Ferraris/Girls don’t like boys, girls like cars and money.”) The chorus is repeated again.

Madden’s voice is canned as he says underneath tinny production that college educated men and women are slaves to capitalism. (“All of these boys, yeah and all of these girls Losing their souls in a material world.”)

The misogny and superiority in “Girls and Boys” is offensive. It’s as though Madden’s jealousy stems from his insecurity of not feeling smart enough for the women he wants. Then to discredit the guys who get the women, he says they can’t form a sentence. Therefore, they are better than him.

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