Music Review: Green Day’s ‘¡Dos!’

To say I was disappointed with Green Day’s first album in their numerical trilogy ¡Uno! is an understatement. In fact, after a month of sitting on this album, hoping that something in me would help change my thoughts on it. It didn’t happen; it just made the album worse. So going into ¡Dos!, you could say I was incredibly skeptical on what would come out of this album. And I’m happy to report that, in comparison, Dos! is miles ahead of where Uno! stumbled.

The first single to come off of the album, “Stray Heart,” is a brilliant piece of pop music that is as radio ready like “American Idiot” was years ago. “Lazy Bones” feels like classic Green Day mixed with some obvious Beatles influence (no where near a Beatles song, but a nice try at one). “Stop When The Red Lights Flash” is one of the shortest songs on the album, but manages to push a great punk tune to help kick off the album in the right direction. The longest song on the album “Wow! That’s Loud” starts with a beautiful lick, then dives into some old school British pop music which fits the aesthetic of this album so well.

The best part of ¡Dos! for me is the reclaimed maturity of the band. If ¡Uno! was an angsty teen, ¡Dos! is the young adult whose just trying to get through life. The biggest example of this is the closer “Amy,” the only slow song on this album. The song has Billie Joel singing to a now gone Amy Winehouse, asking her to stay a little while as the band laments her passing, asking for one more dance if they should meet. None of the other songs on Dos reaches that kind of passion or love, but it does feel like they bumped up the lyrical content and themes a bit. Yeah, Green Day has never really been lyrical geniuses, and there is a song called “Fuck Time” as the second track on the album, but the band actually sounds like they’ve done this before and have done it well, unlike their last effort.

The album’s biggest downfall is its length. A lot of the album is about two to three minutes long, making some of the songs feel extra unfinished. For example, the intro “See You Tonight” and the third track “Stop When The Red Lights Flash” feels like a lot more could have been done to it, as they both end so abruptly. Also, the song “Nightlife” is absolutely awful. Billie Joe sounds wasted as Lady Cobra (?) raps terribly over the track, which is just as unremarkable instrumentally as it is vocally. Also, is it just me, or is the guitar solo on the song “Fuck Time” sound A LOT like My Chemical Romance’s “Teenagers?”

Regardless of my complaints, this is what I expected from Green Day when they first announced their new music series. And although ¡Uno! was a complete fail, ¡Dos! just so happens to make up for it, leaving the series itself as being pretty okay. With one album left to be released (and which has been bumped up release date wise), I expect the best outing Green Day has put in quite some time. Or that it will be a gargantuan clusterfuck. And if it happens to be the latter of the two, at least I will be able to fall back on ¡Dos! for some good Green Day memories.

Final Grade: B
Go Download: “Amy”

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