Saturday, 30 March 2013

Green Day "¡Dos!"

Part two of the Green Day trilogy. This time we’ll be concentrating on ¡Dos! Click here if you missed ¡Uno! The band proclaimed they decided to make this installment in the recent trilogy a more “garage rock” sound.

Now the problem with calling an album a “garage rock” album is that the genre itself is not properly defined. It was a movement in the 60’s that sort of baffled critics in terms of grouping them with other artists, but even the artists back then who were called “garage rock” didn’t sound similar to each other. Basically it’s strong rock songs that are fun to jam to and sound like the bands were having fun while recording them. Nevertheless this album stands out of the three as the most party-oriented album, while still maintaining that Green Day punk familiarity, and does in fact capture some elements of old “garage rock” bands.

The album starts out with a simple and light track, See You Tonight. This track, for those wondering, does sound like a “garage rock” song in a sense. It only features a guitar playing with harmonized vocals over top. The entire song sounds like it might have been recorded on analog, giving an old fashion sound to it. The song is only 1:07.

This leads immediately in to the next track Fuck Time. This track has a nice pounding steady drum beat with very unwell thought out lyrics, as could be already guessed by the title, but musically it captures a good 60’s “garage rock” vibe, and has some well harmonized vocals. The track Makeout Party has a similar attitude to it. It is a little more innocent because it only speaks of making out, but is more aggressive with its faster pace. The last of the songs with this heavy feel is Lady Cobra. The song, like the previously mentioned two, has a nice raw “garage rock” sound.

Lazy Bones is the first song on the album with some of Billie Joe Armstrong’s heartfelt writing that he does so well. The song is one of the faster songs on the album, but musically there is a strong innocence to it, mainly due to the old-fashioned sounding nature of the song. The lyrics, like so many songs on the trilogy, have kind of rude lyrics “...there’s an odor in the air and I think you look like shit,” but the lyrics are disguised by the Billie Joe’s soft delivery of them. With the exception of its lyrics, Stray Heart is another kind-hearted sounding song with a nice fast beat.

The band has been known to write love songs that sound different from most other bands love songs. Wild One is an example, in the sense that it sounds like the 1960’s hit Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las. It has a feel to the song such as the previously mentioned 60’s hit because of its slow pace and its lyrics of a dangerous girl that the singer is in love with (of course Leader of the Pack was about a man, but you get the point). The song does stand out in comparison to other love songs the band has done. It’s no immediate classic, but it shouldn’t be overlooked.

The track Ashley sounds like your typical fast punk rock song by Green Day. It is without a doubt the fastest song on the album, but that shouldn’t take away from how good the song is. It stands out in the bands catalogue of fast songs, particularly with its epic sounding chorus. The song is followed by another fast- paced song Baby Eyes. This time the song is more of a love song but with confusing lyrics. The “baby eyes” mentioned in the song seems to be dead and it seems the singer of the song (Billie Joe) is the one who killed her...but it just doesn’t really make sense with the feel of the song. Regardless, it is still a great track. Wow! That’s Loud is the last fast song on the album. It stands out with its catchy guitar riff, and matches Ashley in how fast it is. The lyrics are simple and meaningless but I’ll be damned if the music doesn’t get to you. It is also the longest song on the album at 4:28.

Stop When The Red Lights Flash is a somewhat insignificant track, one of few on the album, it is in every way a Green Day song. It doesn’t feel like a filler track, Green Day has a tendency of making their filler tracks more experimental, but at the same time it is a very forgettable track. The song Nightlife, however, is very much a filler track. It is the slowest track on the album. It has a good groove to it and the vocals of Billie Joe don’t sound too bad...but then it features rapping by a woman by the name of Ashley Painter, aka Lady Cobra (yes, the same person that the previously mentioned song of the same name was written about). The song just doesn’t feel like it belongs, on any Green Day album and not just this one.

The album ends similar to how it began; just Billie Joe and a guitar. Amy is a song written in the memory of the late Amy Winehouse, but unlike See You Tonight, the song is a regular lengthen song at 3:25 and doesn’t sound like a “garage rock” song. Despite its simple sound, it is a great track. The song has the best lyrics on the album, which is a good gesture on Billie Joe’s part in honoring her, and he keeps the listeners attention by doing such a good job singing the song. Billie Joe also tries to deliver the song like a soul singer, while not quite doing the job so well it is still clear that he put a lot of thought in to what could have easily just been another filler track.

Despite less than favorable reviews comparing it to the first installment in the trilogy, this reviewer (me) says that ¡Dos! Is the best album of the trilogy; as an album in its whole, it sounds different from anything the band has ever done. Some of the most edgy and heavy songs that Green Day has ever done can be found on this album. Just like ¡Uno! every song on the album features just the basic guitar, drums and bass with no experimenting, with the exception of Nightlife, and features some of the best songs the band has ever recorded. Another note that should be taken is that ¡Dos! marks the tenth album the band has ever released.


Stray Heart” – The only single released from the album; though it doesn’t quite sum up the album, it is still without a doubt the best song on the album. It has a very upbeat to it and has an old-fashioned feel to it, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how old-fashioned because the band does such a good job at making the song a Green Day song. It has some soul and motown influence to it, blended in with the bands signature punk sound. The fun nature of the song is addicting and it just doesn’t fail to come across as anything other than a happy-go-lucky love song, with slightly cliché lyrics about wanting to love someone who isn’t available.


8 (Out of 10)

Track List:

"See You Tonight"  
"Fuck Time"  
"Stop When the Red Lights Flash"  
"Lazy Bones"  
"Wild One"  
"Makeout Party"  
"Stray Heart"
"Baby Eyes"  
"Lady Cobra"  
"Wow! That's Loud"  

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