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Since poking fun at the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” in Good Charlotte, Joel and Benji Madden have ascended to the A-list, their clothing lines and celeb hookups sometimes overshadowing their band. Stepping out as the Madden Brothers, they’ve released an album that’s more like a pair of EPs. Side one’s power-pop punch has a Caribbean tinge; feather-light verses on “Brixton” explode into a majestic chorus, while the big-tent backing vocals and strident beat of “Love Pretenders” add to its resigned-sigh feel. On side two, the duo indulge in classic-rock appreciation: Eagles-nodding folk-rock is punctuated by the Ryan Adams-assisted “California Rain,” a bummed-out flip of “Here Comes the Sun” that recontextualizes the Fab Four’s “little darling” into comfort for a weeping woman, and “Bad,” which sounds like Steve Miller’s “The Joker” spun by a late-’90s alt-pop act. “Good Gracious Abbey” casts the Maddens as a Steely Dan tribute band with surprisingly satisfying results. While the music might be chilled-out, an innate tension invites deeper listening. (Out Tuesday) MAURA JOHNSTON

Essential “Good Gracious Abbey”


Maura Johnston can be reached at maura.johnston@gmail.com