Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Green Day " ¡Uno!"

In late 2012, pop punk mammoths Green Day made history by releasing three albums of new material in a matter of four months. The albums were simply titled ¡Uno! ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! The next three reviews are going to be concentrated on these three albums.

Starting with the obvious choice, ¡Uno! (released September 21, 2012) the band proclaimed this to be the generic pop-punk album of the trilogy, with songs similar to what the band has been known for making their whole career. The result was, for the most part, a success for Green Day fans and music fans alike.

The albums first track, Nuclear Family is your basic Green Day track. It is fast, fun and simple, featuring just the basic three instruments a rock band needs, guitar, bass and drums. Most, if not all of the album follows this format, which is a relaxing revelation for those who were not fans of the experimenting done of recent previous albums.

Other songs on the album that follow the fast pace of this song include songs like Loss of Control, the somewhat 50’s styled Angel Blue, Rusty James (named after the lead character in the book Rumble Fish, with lyrics also successfully concerning the concepts in the story such as the nature of gangs back in the 1950’s/60’s). The last of the fast on the album, Let Yourself Go is also the third single released from the album. It does stand out above the rest of the fast paced songs on the album. It is definitely catchier than the rest, probably the most catchy and sing-able song on the album. The lyrics are generic and easy to remember, it’s mostly the music that the band concentrated on for this track.

The album has its share of mid-paced songs. Starting with Stay The Night; this track is something lead singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong has made somewhat of a career doing, and that is making a song sound very nice and heartfelt, yet while listening to the lyrics, it’s not clear if he’s in love or just looking for a quick fix. Altogether it is a fine track for the fan of catchy hooks and powerful tracks that are just too heavy to be considered ballads. Fell For You and Sweet 16 are two other tracks that follow this powerful nature, all three tracks have a nice 50’s vibe (something that Billie Joe has incorporated in to his writing since the Nimrod album in 1997). The latter of the two, Sweet 16, was written for his wife on their 16th anniversary. It is however probably the least significant of the tracks. It just feels like he was trying too hard to fit in certain lyrics where they just didn’t fit, giving it a real crowded feeling.

The albums second single, Kill the DJ sounds nothing like anything else on the album (or the following two albums). It mixes the bands known punk sound with a style of dance music that is still very accessible to the anti-dance music fan (such as myself). The song’s groove is hard not to get in to and Bille Joe does one of his better vocal performances on the album.

The tracks Carpe Diem and Troublemaker are more aggressive mid-tempo songs. In typical Green Day fashion, they are very catchy and easy to sing along with. The latter of the two may not have the best lyrics, but it takes from obvious punk influencers such as Iggy Pop. It is hard not to appreciate the band’s drummer Tre Cool for keeping the song going with his consistent and very distinctive drum beats, as he’s done so many times in the bands career, not to mention on every song off of this album.

That brings us to the last track, and first single, released from the album, Oh Love. This song many have probably heard by now, but if you haven’t, it’s a simple slow track, and a well picked single from the album. It starts off with just Billie Joe and his guitar, but it doesn’t take long for the rest of the band to chime in. It’s a simple punk anthem; by the third listen you’d probably have all of the lyrics memorized. It stands out as being different from all other slow tracks on the album by still maintaining a heavy spirit, and an almost marching band feel to it, especially in the chorus. The problem with the song, if you listen to it too much, you just get tired of it. Fortunately, if you give listening to it a little break, it will sound good again when you decide to give it another listen.

This album, as well as the other two albums in the trilogy, follows a pattern that Green Day hasn’t followed since the mid-90’s, and that is the simple usage of guitar, drum and bass. They didn’t experiment on any of the songs at all and kept it the simplest album that the band has released since 1995’s Insomniac. It isn’t quite the Dookie sounding album that some fans have been longing for since the early 90’s, but it isn’t the rock opera that American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown were (not to say that they weren’t amazing albums). The band managed to change their sound, but for the untrained ear, maintain a familiarity with their fans that keeps the album very much accepted by fans. This instalment in the trilogy also stays true to its “power-pop” or pop-punk sound that the band promised.


Stay the Night” – Though it wasn’t a single, this track is among the best on the album and is a great introduction to any first time listeners. Songs like Oh Love or Kill the DJ are great tracks to pick as well, but they wouldn’t give the listener the proper feeling of the album. Stay the Night starts off with a simple yet very sweet guitar riff that leads in to a nice fast paced rhythm. The song is pretty heart warming in its melodies, which is an effect that Billie Joe has always undeniably had, and showcases at many points on the album. This is the perfect song to show listeners that exact catchy song writing capability by him.



7.5 (Out of 10)


Track List:

"Nuclear Family"  
"Stay the Night"  
"Carpe Diem"  
"Let Yourself Go"  
"Kill the DJ"  
"Fell for You"  
"Loss of Control"  
"Angel Blue"  
"Sweet 16"  
"Rusty James"  
"Oh Love"  

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