By: Kayla-Jane Barrie –
With their new album ¡UNO!, Green Day have reverted back to a Dookie-era ideology and have abandoned their ambitious, political-charged rock operas, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.
The album begins with a classic reminder that Green Day still has it in them. “Nuclear Family” is a track that should have been on 1997’s Nimrod. The bass and guitars on this track mesh in a punk rock melody that gets the album going.
The second track “Stay The Night“ follows the same 90’s punk vibes but with a hint of romance. “I got to know if you’re the one that got away. Even though it was never meant to be say you’ll stay the night.” Just imagine if this track came out during their peak in the mid-nineties. The royalties would have been insane!
Ignoring the recent event of lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s outburst on stage, “Let Yourself Go,” is a reckless, fast paced track about giving a middle finger to anything that is standing in your way.
The album fails to acknowledge the political dialogue that Armstrong intimately explored on 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown and the career-saving rock opera American Idiot. Instead, Armstrong and company get back to their nostalgic-laden pop-punk roots that made them famous in the nineties which is a move that may divide many of their fans.
The album begins to crash and burn when the track “Sweet 16,” opens up with pop-filled guitar and drum combination. “Old days are fine, but are left so far behind. From California to Jane Street, kids alright, alright as they’ll ever be.” The song sounds more like filler then a well-written song.
Tre Cool (drums) hasn’t lost any of his skill over the years and it’s loud and clear on the second to last track, “Rusty James.” His percussion skills shine in between the solos and the lengthy chorus.
The radio-friendly track “Oh Love” concludes the album on a soft note. Considering how intense the rest of the album was, the last few tracks fall short on an epic punk rock ending.
Only time will tell whether Green Day will keep churning out the same Dookie-esque pop-punk melodies that propelled them to fame or whether they’ll step back into the political arena and pick up where 21st Century Breakdown left off.
Essential Tracks: “Nuclear Family,” “Rusty James,” “Stay The Night.”