Review - Green Day - ¡Uno!
Green Day has released the first of their trilogy of albums today. Yes, you heard that right – a trilogy. Between September 25th and January 15th, the band will release three full albums. I don’t know that I can even think of a time when a band has done such a thing. Perhaps a re-release or a live or remix album, but three whole new albums?
It seemed for a while there that Green Day were becoming more serious, and thus albums were coming out farther and farther apart from one another. Early in their career, the band would typically release a CD every year and a half or two years. Between ‘Warning’ and ‘American Idiot’ there was a four year gap, and then between ‘AI’ and ‘21st Century Breakdown’ fans had to wait a whole five years. Now, this could have been because those albums were chock full of singles that all took their time, or maybe because they just needed longer to craft such art (the two albums combined were nominated for ten Grammys, winning Best Rock Album twice and Record of the Year once).
The new output schedule – three albums in five months – obviously puts their old work ethic to shame. When I first heard this, I was worried that the CDs would be haphazardly done and boring. While ‘¡Uno!’ has yet to have a major single (on the Hot 100 – lead single “Oh Love” debuted at #1 on the Rock Songs chart, making it only the third song in history to ever do so), don’t think that album numero uno has nothing good going on.
‘¡Uno!’ sees Green Day returning to what made them the band that they are today: good old fashions pop punk, emphasis on the punk. I’ve written about a lot of pop punk, and most of it leans a lot more towards the pop than the punk. Green Day have shown that they are rockers through and through, and sonically, ‘¡Uno!’ agrees.
I was also very pleased to hear that the band has stepped away from the gloom and the seriousness that has clouded their last two records. While critics loved them (and I did too), what happened to the old band? I love hearing Billie Jo be either very happy or pissed off – he does the two so well, and sometimes even at the same time. Songs like “Kill The DJ” show how he and only he can make this work.
“Let Yourself Go” (whose furious pace defies the band members’ ages) and “Fell For You” are sweet and fun, which is just what we need. I love when bands can take a step back, examine what they are doing and what they have been doing, compare it with their history, and perhaps change course. While “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and “21 Guns” are great songs, the throwback to beloved singles “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around” is so very welcome.
Listen to: the whole album if you’re a fan of Green Day, but especially “Oh Love”, “Kill The DJ”, “Fell For You”, “Stay The Night”, and “Let Yourself Go”