Green Day- ¡Uno!
Like everyone else my first taste of Green Day came from "Dookie". The band's third album (and first for a major label) made them the face of "punk". The group went from underground rockers to media darlings in the blink of an eye. "Dookie" would prove to be the first (and last) "new" album by Green Day that I would buy. After picking up the band's earlier work and then hearing "Insomniac" I decided to leave well enough alone. In the meantime Green Day went from a bunch of punks to another U2. Only instead of songs about God, love, freedom and hope Green Day got stuck in what I like to call the "Ministry Loop" where every damn song was about the "evil" Bush. Wasn't punk supposed to be a rebellion against all politics? When did it start to sound like a commercial for the Democratic party? Thankfully Green Day has moved on. Thankfully and mercifully. So, here we stand looking at the group's ninth studio album (the first in a trilogy) and the first album from Green Day that I have heard start to finish in a long time. Sure, I've heard the singles over the years. Some I've liked and some I haven't. Speaking of singles the band's first single from "¡Uno!" was actually a winner in my eyes. "Oh Love" was released back in July and nice bit of pop punk/radio rock with the very distinctive Green Day flavor. I have to admit I downloaded it, threw it on some mix CDs (one for myself and one for my lovely girlfriend) and thought maybe, just maybe, I should look into the new album. To paraphrase a all too familiar song "I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another that this CD was floating around"...review-wise that is. Soon enough I was listening to Green Day's new album and my overall general impression? Well, it's not too bad at all. There are some good tracks to be had.The first two cuts, "Nuclear Family" and "Stay The Night", set the tone for the album. While they are both classic Green Day (face it, just like bands like U2 the boys in Green Day long ago established their own trademark sound) "Nuclear Family" is punk rock and roll rage while "Stay The Night" is rock and roll with a little bit of punk soul. Lyrically it's nice to see the band tackle things other then politics as "Stay The Night" and "Oh Love" offer a look at love and loneliness and "Sweet 16" is Billie Joe Armstrong looking back over his life. With the recent news of a "breakdown" Billie Joe might be better off being reflective rather then vindictive? I mean "Kill The DJ" is pretty self-explanatory right? "Let Yourself Go" is Billie Joe letting himself go...into a fit of rage. At least it is pointed at the haters instead of zeroing in on any one person in particular. With love and hate and a look at right and wrong the album ends up a good listen if a bit too familiar. And while the world "punk" is used a lot when people talk about Green Day (even I'm guilty of that in this review) it is more fair to say that this is pop rock/power rock for a generation too young to remember what punk really looked like.It will be interesting to see what the other two albums in this trilogy have to offer.