With the decline of the record industry in wake of the digital format, it’s more and more common to see bands replacing albums with digital downloads. But, as they have done before, Green Day has decided to throw a wrench (or a grenade) in the ever-growing trend. From September of 2012 to January of 2013, the band will be releasing three albums, aptly named ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tre!. After the politically charged records American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong wrote without restraint of theme, resulting in more songs about girls and sex while still remaining true to their sound.
¡Uno!, the first installment of the trilogy, is almost a past, present, and future look at Green Day. Armstrong and rhythm guitarist Jason White dish out wicked solos that haven’t been heard since the Kerplunk days. The album kicks off fast and furious with “Nuclear Family”, with “Stay the Night” and “Carpe Diem” following suit. The band also went all out with a four-on-the-floor dance song with the white noise of the media in their crosshairs with “Kill the DJ”. The second half of the album takes a different turn with a focus on partying, love, and loss. ¡Uno! features three great love songs (Green Day style) with “Fell For You”, “Angel Blue”, and “Sweet 16”, the last of which was written years ago by Billie Joe for his now-wife Adrienne. “Loss of Control” is a heavier tune about partying and, well, losing control (for lack of a better phrase). Oddly enough, the solo in “Troublemaker” is very reminiscent of the 70s hit “American Woman”. “Rusty James” is the band’s way of coping with the decay of the punk scene and the community that they grew up with that has basically abandoned their morals since the glory days. The album closes with their first single “Oh Love”, an anthemic ballad of love and putting it all on the line (“I’m wearing my heart on a noose”).
This album is a welcome change from the politically fueled previous two albums and is a return to form for the band that has done everything from sold-out stadium tours to Broadway musical success. There’s enough of a progression and uniqueness in the style that doesn’t immediately scream “vintage” or “throwback”, but shows the band’s sound evolving even after twenty years. 4/5 stars.
my review of Green Day’s newest album, ¡Uno!.