Gone is the rock opera of ‘American Idiot’ as Green Day return with a piece of nineties nostalgia. While lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong gets his act together in Re-hab the Green Day musical juggernaut rolls on unabated.
Not forgetting ‘American Idiot: the Broadway show’, Uno! is the follow up to 2009 ‘21st Century Breakdown’ and the first in a trilogy of albums produced by long time collaborator Rob Cavallo (who has previously worked with Bon Jovi and My Chemical Romance) to be released in almost consecutive months.
First track ‘Nuclear Family’ is worryingly bland, but things warm up quickly with ‘Stay The Night’ sounding gloriously like a mix of ‘Dookie’ era Green Day and modern grown-up(ish), mature Green Day. ‘Carpe Diem, are we all too young to die?’ is as deep as this album goes, gone is the political satire Armstrong & co have become famous for, and here is tales of teen dramas (which is great if you forget it’s written by a forty year old family man).
A lot of songs benefit from Green Day’s brilliant live presence, but on record come across as bland and repetitive; ‘Let yourself go’ (which was performed recently on MTV’S VMA awards), single ‘Oh Love’, and the 80’s post punk ‘Kill The DJ(below)’ Think Smiths meets The Damned – are examples of songs that will sound better live.
Warning this video contains strong language including the words ‘f*ck, f*cking (and bum).
There’s no ‘Wake me up when September ends’ or ’21 guns’. Mid-tempo ‘Fell for you’ and ‘Rusty James’ are as close to subtle as you’ll get here with their teenage drama soundtrack vibe. ‘Sweet 16’ stands out towards the end of this record as a sixties California influenced piece of rock. It might be the long awaited sequel to Dookie, but if you expect breaking ground or edgy narratives this isn’t the place.
If you do want a slice of sugar coated punk with a nod to The Clash this might be an album for you.
Uno! is out now, the two sequels are released on Nov 13th (Dos!) and (Tre!) on Jan 13th.