The good life. Something we all want to live. But what does that even mean? Is it having all the money in the world or having the hottest cars? Is it having your choice of the most beautiful women or men? Is it just being content with what you have, and finding happiness within that? Rise Records latest pop punk addition, MAKEOUT, hope to answer that with their debut release, The Good Life. Formerly known as Trophy Wives, the band went through a bit of a transformation and rebranding. Under Trophy Wives the group favored a blend of pop punk mixed with subtle hints of easycore, but now under their new moniker they side more of the pop punk/pop rock side of things. But The Good Life has no lack of variation, much like other pop punk bands of the past. A solid pop punk group should never stick to the simple formula of what goes into the genre, and much like Blink-182 and Sum 41, this group strives to create fun and engaging music that shows the lighter side of music can present.
The album begins with “Childish”. A standard, but super fun pop punk track. It’s a faced paced, catchy tune that speaks to a common theme throughout the record; failed relationships. The chorus sums up the overall concept of the song perfectly. Vocalist Sam Boxold talks about wanting to basically hit the reset button with a girl, and go back to the good times they had initially shared. “Can we make a life that’s child-like, not childish.”, is a perfectly normal thing to want to have. To have that care-free fun relationship, without acting immature and resorting to behavior that’s non-conducive to have that sort of happiness.
“Crazy” was the first single released off the album and is a fantastic introduction to who the band has now become. The verse is a hilarious, modern-slang-filled take on a girl that (you guessed it…), acts absolutely bat shit crazy, all sang over beats that could be used in any hip hop song. Aside from some of the possibly more personal or less than relatable references, this is something many men (and some likely some women) have had to deal with at some point in their lives, so this track offers a lighter outlook on a subject most would rather forget.
“Ride It Out” is the latest single released off the The Good Life, and it has a much more pop rock feel in comparison to some of the other songs off the album. It’s a much slower paced song, and Sam shows off some of his softer vocals which meld perfectly with the emotional feel of the track. Once again the song touches on the subject of a difficult relationship, but it takes a more adult stance on the subject. As opposed to making fun of the girl of the story, or poking fun at the matter, the lyrics speak to wanting to focus on the great things in the relationship. It looks at the side of remembering all that was great about what they had, and wanting to build on that to fix what has become so strained. This song definitely showed a very different, but welcome side of MAKEOUT. Perhaps this was due partly to the fact that 5 Seconds of Summer helped co-wrote the song.
“Till We’re Gone” is one of standout tracks on the entire album. It begins with a beautiful piano melody, Sam singing softly, and eventually some light drumming and guitar work. The song is about cherishing all of the little things in life. We all go through hardships, challenges, and we all experience sadness and pain. But there’s so much more to life, and we have to make the best of it until our last days. This song was a perfect way to show that the band has a lot more depth than one may have previously thought and they did a wonderful job of it.
“Secrets” is the staple acoustic track that’s on almost every pop punk album. Yet again we’re listening to another song about a sour person preaching about a relationship that didn’t work out. Regardless of the possibly played out subject matter, the song is actually quite good. The angry, bitter, yet comedic lyrics played over the almost upbeat acoustic guitar gives the song a very fun feel, and helps to keep the listeners attention. The song is super catchy and sure to leave a smile on most listeners face, if for nothing more than the relatable topic that’s delivered in such a funny way.
“Where’s My Charger” feels almost like an ode to Blink-182. Extremely simple, joke-like lyrics over a fast punk song that only lasts a mere 26 seconds. “Where’s my charger. I can’t find my charger…where’s my fucking charger?”. Mark Hoppus and the Blink boys would be proud.
All in all this album is absolutely spectacular as far as a pop punk album goes. It’s insanely fun and insanely catchy. MAKEOUT have shown that along with a name change, they wanted to explore and broaden their musical horizons. The fact that the album had such musical variation, even if ever so slightly, helped to keep the lyrical content from feeling stale or overplayed. In saying that, it’s not as if all of the lyrics were so simple and vocalist/lyricist Sam Boxold did show us he’s entirely capable of writing a more heartfelt, thoughtful song or two. The Good Life is an album that will sure to be a staple for a fun-filled day in the sun, while doing some silly shit and in need of a soundtrack to back ya up.