Green Day – Uno!
- By Chris Jefferies -
- Sep 25, 2012
Following two rock operas that sold 18 million copies worldwide was never going to be easy. Choosing to do so with a triple album has only made things even harder for irrepressible Californian punk rockers Green Day.
The whole concept of a double album has seen great acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers flounder, while even the Foo Fighters struggled to keep up the quality levels on their 2005 double-disc effort.
Undeterred, Green Day have come out with a triple album, starting with 'Uno!', which is due to be followed up by 'Dos!' and 'Tre!' as separate releases staggered over the next four months.
And for the first time in many years, Green Day have come out with an album that doesn't really contain anything new.
Lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong said in a recent interview that making albums has become "a lost art form", but this doesn't really seem like a cohesive composition, more like 12 singles in a row. Ten years ago we wouldn't have expected much more from Green Day, but they have raised the bar with their highly ambitious last two albums.
'American Idiot' and '21st Century Breakdown' both included elaborate seven-minute sagas spanning multiple genres, but on Uno! the band stick with a tried and tested formula to bash out 12 enjoyable, but hardly groundbreaking tunes. Hummable choruses and rockabilly guitar solos abound, but there is little to get excited about and certainly nothing challenging.
The opening double salvo of 'Nuclear Family' and 'Save The Night' could have fitted seamlessly onto 'Nimrod' or 'Warning', and it's clear that Billy Joe and co are happy to preach to the choir. 'Carpe Diem' is a rabble-rousing call to arms, but it all falls down on 'Kill The DJ', an ill-judged attempt at funk rock, which is not helped by some of Morrissey's finest lyrics echoing the back of your head.
Indeed the lyrics are hardly inspiring at any point, with 'Loss Of Control' offering a particularly trite refrain: "We're all crazy / You're all crazy now / We're so crazy / You've all gone insane"
From here on in, hallmarks of classic Green Day resonate throughout, with the tempo never really dropping and plenty of reminiscent melodies and riffs. There is no ballad to offer pause for thought, and mediocre lead-off single 'Oh Love' makes for a disappointing climax.
There are two ways of looking at this album – either Green Day have dropped the pretentions and gone back to basics, or they have simply run out of ideas.
That said, the jury is still out. With two more records to come, it would seem foolish to write off Green Day's comeback just yet, but the initial signs are hardly promising.
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