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Nutshell Album Review: Green Day – ¡Uno!

It’s easy to admit that it was hard to decide whether or not this album would be reviewed. After putting out their eigth album 21st Century Breakdown and receiving the much-deserved response of “ehh”, modern punk kings Green Day managed to toss out two live albums, a singles compilation, a Rock Band game, and a Tony/Grammy award winning musical before coming out with the idea for ¡Uno!¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!. Now set to kick out a total of three albums between September and January, Green Day starts off with the proudly punk sounding ¡Uno!.

Starting with “Nuclear Family”, the now official quartet (with the addition of touring guitarist Jason White) sounds like they did at their best. Even though it’s hard to believe that anything called Dookie could be impressive, that album was the high point for Green Day’s career and they have very intelligently inched back towards that sound. “Stay the Night” is full of all the F-bombs and catchy hooks you could hope for, and goes back to the palm muting and loud bass grooves Green Day fans fell in love with. “Carpe Diem” has a solid power pop opening with a mastery of the “stop, start” songwriting technique. The band is also able to show their incredible gift for syncing up drum rhythms with vocals in this song, coming up with an overall catchy song. Next is a must hear from this album, the punky, fast-paced “Let Yourself Go”, which was not too long ago accompanied with a far-too-censored MTV VMA performance. This song is nothing new from Green Day’s early sound, but they hit the nail right on the head with how to make a new punk song that attracts listeners: keep it sounding like actual punk.

“Kill the DJ” is, in the words of lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, “straight-up dance music”. This song is uncharacteristic of the band’s usual sound, but it is sure to weasel it’s way into electronic-dominated party playlists. “Fell for You” is a song that sounds like the musical equivalent of a gene pool that includes Paul McCartney and Sid Vicious. The quick and powerful “Loss of Control” is what follows, a song with 5-second guitar solos (there’s a longer one, don’t worry), raw and fast vocals, and enough bass drum to make your head explode. This is just an absolutely gritty and sarcastic punk song that is another one to definitely check out. “Troublemaker” features vocals that are at some times comparable to Bob Dylan (which is frankly quite hilarious), an unbelievable catchy groove and an acidic guitar solo. “Angel Blue” is another fast-paced one that gets your legs bouncing and also forces you to be reminiscent of the late 90’s. “Sweet 16” is one of the quieter songs of the album, and it also hits the poppier side of Green Day that came to light in American Idiot. The album then closes out with Green Day’s famous story-telling on the pop-punk superpower that is “Rusty James”, and the five minute single “Oh Love”, a song that impressively encases the positive ends of 21st Century Breakdown in an almost arena rock style.

Green Day is one of the few bands that can say that they escaped the idea of 90’s punk bands only being listened to ironically. They continue to go with the trends and put out fresh music while remaining one of the biggest names in rock and roll 25 years after their formation. ¡Uno!¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! have been set to be something amazing, and ¡Uno! is successful at enticing listeners to stay aware of the next two albums (to be released November 13th and January 15th, respectively). ¡Uno! grabs a 92/100 and it is available now.

¡Uno! Tracklisting:

  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
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