Where do you begin with a band like Green Day? They’re one of the most successful punk bands in the past twenty years, releasing critically acclaimed album after album since 1990. The also can subsequently piss off a decent part of their fan base, with accusations of “selling out” getting thrown all over the place. Personally, I have nothing against Green Day – besides putting out 21st Century Breakdown a couple of years ago. So what does a band who’s an already extensive library? Start a trio of albums that will come out in the next six months, that’s what. And that’s what brings us to part one – entitled ¡Uno!.
The first song “Nuclear Family” can be thrown into almost any album in Green Day’s discography; its sharp, to the point, and pretty catchy. “Let Yourself Go” is a punk hit 30 years late to the party, but sounds great in an almost nostalgic sense – even if they swear just to swear. “Troublemaker” is a giant throwback, and although the chorus is something to be desired, still comes off incredibly catchy and fun to listen to. The first single, and for some reason the last song on the album “Oh Love” is a swelling rock anthem that is sure to make end-of-year lists all over the place. “Oh Love” is the only song on here that really feels like Green Day taking their unique sound and evolving it into something bigger than itself, while everything else on ¡Uno! flounders.
“Stay the Night” is a love song that just goes on for too long that doesn’t feel emotional or caring (not all love songs have to be, but it helps). It sounds like Billie Joe has done this song and dance for a while now, and just pulling lyrical ques out of his hat and throwing them around. “Carpe Diem” is a song better suited for the awful Twitter tag YOLO compared to Seize The Day. “Fell For You” is yet another bland attempt at a love song, filled with the same-old same-old guitar riffs and drum beats that circle this album from top to bottom.
The biggest complaint I have about ¡Uno! is its lack of emotion. Green Day sound like they have done this all before, and in a sense of reality they have. A lot of these songs feel dated – but not Green Day dated. This album could’ve been made in the mid 80’s, and it would sound like just as emotionless and repetitive as it does today. Nothing, besides the first single “Oh Love,” reinvents anything or evolves Green Day. Instead, they intentionally devolved into a punk band who thinks cussing a lot is what makes them edgy.
In the next four months, Green Day will be releasing two more albums which I pray will be better than ¡Uno!. The album felt lacking, almost gimmicky at times. This album is going to get critically praised by most outlets, but I’m listening to this wondering if they really deserve it. Green Day will go into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame one day, but it will not be thanks to this album. Hopefully, part two will be better. I still have high expectations for Green Day, and with this project specifically. Let’s all just hope that this is just a little hiccup into something bigger. And also better.
Final Grade: C-
Go Download: “Oh Love”