Green Day – ¡Uno! Green Day – ¡Uno!

This article is dedicated to my brother. The next two articles will be dedicated to him as well. Actually, come to think of it, dedicated articles about Green Day will most likely cause him pangs of embarrassment as he has, for a while, forgotten entirely about this band. No matter. At one point this band meant something to him and for a brief moment in his life made sense and served as a compass with which he found his way through the world. Again. Morbid embarrassment. I wonder if I could find a picture of him in his room.

I find myself defending Green Day more than I should. Green Day has aged gracefully compared to other pop punk acts which came of age during my own adolescence. Compared to The Offspring, Green Day appears to have taken an active interest in their own longevity actively pursuing new directions for music to compliment their growth. It is strange to think of a band who has jumped generational gaps and found a new audience of mildly annoyed yet financially stable teenagers. The transformation from snotty mall punk to heavy handed political rock, while not embraced by everyone, was something different and genuine. I will always celebrate progression and Green Day’s rock opera era was something that was filled with creative energy. The fact that, despite their age, Green Day is now undertaking a triple album just gives me more than enough reason to smile. I have defended Green Day for many years and now is the time to finally step up to table and either beam brightly or eat shit silently.

At this moment I would like to hand it over to an email by one of the hosts on Champions of the Universe Podcast, Areaman Adam.

1. Green Day is officially writing music for high school dances now
2. As far as Top 40 goes, Green Day might be the last bastion on rock on the pop charts
3. I expected it to be much worse
4. “Sweet Sixteen” or whatever the hell it was called might’ve made me throw up in my mouth a little
5. “Someone Kill the DJ” is the sign that they are becoming the Offspring
6. That “punk” flip out had to have been written by one of their corporate overlords given the timing of this new album
7. Part 1 of a Trilogy? Really?…….Really.
8. Billy Joe is reverse aging mentally. From a topical standpoint, these songs are written by a 15-17 year old whose parents let them curse occasionally
9. Advice from someone whose music career has gone nowhere and will probably never achieve anything: Get rid of the guyliner, go the Radiohead route and ditch your label, and write songs you care about.

I think I could spend a few articles on each of these points but for now, I feel number 3 is most important. Despite my general support, Green Day has been met with as much criticism as praise. Some of these criticisms include an overabundance of fashion, political whining, and the thinly veiled corporate structure underneath a faux DIY punk attitude. A new album which supposedly throws back to the band’s roots is causing as much anticipation as exacerbated sighs. I feel that number 3 is very important in this review because in all honesty, even for me who defends the band, I was expecting much worse.

¡Uno! does an admirable job at embracing a simpler version of an already simple formula. The tone and theme of the album mirrors that which was seen on 39/Smooth in 1990 to Dookie in 1994. ¡Uno! serves as a reminder to why Green Day became popular and how they maintained that attention. It also showcases Green Day’s ability to write catchy, simple, and memorable songs which come with little regurgitation. Except for “Sweet Sixteen” which caused Areaman Adam to throw up in his mouth.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained with songs like “Troublemaker,” “Carpe Diem” and the nostalgic “Loss of Control.” I would also be lying if I said songs like the confusing dance punk track “Kill The DJ” as well as the actual lyrics to half of the songs did not cause my skin to crawl. For the most part I was pleased as well as surprised. I am interested to see if the planned garage rock ¡Dos! and the operatic closer ¡Tre! can hold up to the strong opener. For now I am beaming because I was entertained. Other people may try to throw shit at me demanding I eat all of it.

I wonder what my brother thinks of this record as Green Day was the first band he became obsessed with. I mentioned before the picture of him in his room — which he famously covered every inch with Green Day paraphernalia from various tear out magazines and music stores. While its fun for me to make light of it, it was an early memory of someone going off the deep end with music. It was a devotion to one band which made that person feel comfortable and positive about their station in life. I feel both of us still do that from time to time and it never stops being fun. Though we all like to make jokes and search for embarrassing photos, Green Day, for some, meant a lot and even to others, like me, still holds some small glimmers of merit.

Green Day’s ¡Uno! tracklist:

1. Nuclear Family
2. Stay The Night
3. Carpe Diem
4. Let Yourself Go
5. Kill The DJ
6. Fell For You
7. Loss Of Control
8. Troublemaker
9. Angel Blue
10. Sweet 16
11. Rusty James
12. Oh Love

Green Day - ¡Uno!, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2012-10-02T12:37:52-07:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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