Green Day album review: ‘¡Uno!’
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
Green Day will always sound like Green Day. Whether it’s 1994 or 2012 and beyond, any new record that the middle aged punk trio puts out is going to be smothered in their signature sound.
But while the past decade in Green Day’s history has been saturated with thoughts of war, politics and how rightwingers are outright evil, the punk trio is sending the message that they’re not too old to have fun writing punk rock like they used to.
If you thought Green Day were taking themselves too seriously, then here are three new albums in one year, pumped out straight from their garage-band past, five minutes spent on each song before being thrown into the can for good. “¡Uno!” is the first of these three records, with “¡Dos!” and “¡Tré!” to follow.
While the band made sure to let everyone know that they have stuck to their punk roots, there are a few sounds on “¡Uno!” that haven’t made an appearance on a Green Day record before, as there are with every album they put out. “Kill the DJ” has a sort of funky dance groove with particularly twangy, bluesy guitar sounds in the background.
They pull this off nicely. True, there never needs to be another song about killing a DJ for playing dance music again, but “Kill the DJ” is one of the catchier songs on the album and it makes up for the trite lyrical content.
“Oh Love,” the album’s first single, is nothing new in terms of the Green Day sound, but it is catchy enough to earn a spot on the next “Best of Green Day” album.
The only fault this record has, and one that no band can avoid when putting out so much music in one release, is that some listeners will never finish “¡Uno,!” “¡Dos!,” or even “¡Tré!” There are just too many songs, and too many of them sound too similar to ensure that the casual listener is going to stay focused for the entire album. A lot of people will buy it, give it a try, enjoy the first five songs and get tired of it in a week.
Green Day knows this, though, and if anyone is entitled to put out a three-record set of 30-plus punk songs, most of which sound the same, it’s Green Day. There probably won’t be a single song on any of these three records that comes close to the punk euphouria of “Basketcase” or “The Longview,” but Green Day has dominated the pop/rock charts for almost two decades now. They’ve already written their greatest hits album. This year, they are just having fun writing 2012’s soundtrack to their fans’ lives, both for those who have stuck with them through every phase of their career and for those who have drifted since the beginning of the American Idiot era.
Creating another Green Day opus was not the intention for “¡Uno!” and its two sister records to come out this year. Green Day obviously wants to give their fans some brand new Green Day songs that are simple, fun and catchy radio singles to remind their audience that they still have an upbeat side. Its not all bleeding hearts and bombs this year. Even in their forties, they still want to have fun playing rock music.