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Is ¡Uno! Number 1? Not Quite.

October 19, 2012

Green Day has been one of the greatest pop-punk bands of the last twenty-plus years.  They have released albums that have spoken to the angst-filled teenager in millions of people.  From bratty 3-chord radio-friendly “punk” songs to voicing political dissent in a modern rock-opera, it seems that the Bay Area trio has done it all.

In order to top their latest work, the boys came up with the idea of releasing a triple album, three albums to be released over several months, aptly titled ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tre!.  The first album ¡Uno! was released September 25 with great anticipation.  While this idea is certainly intriguing, its content leaves something to be desired.

A common complaint people will give when listening to Green Day since their ground-breaking release of American Idiot is that their sound has changed; the pop-punk sound has changed into something somewhat condescending and showy.

This first of three releases attempts to return to their famous mid-90s sound, but somewhat misses this goal.  Their guitar riffs sound tired and boring and the bass doesn’t have that playful sound it used to feature.  Over the course of the album, the music is indistinguishable from one track to the next; nothing seems to stand out as a catchy pop-punk hook.

As far as the lyrics go, it seems that the now late-30s fathers/musicians are trying so hard to be snotty kids.  In the song “Loss of Control”, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong whines

“I’m taking down all my enemies ‘cause they’re all so f***ing useless/A bunch of s*** talking drama queens and they’re all filled with excuses/I wanna find me a better scene where it’s not the same opinion/I’d rather go to a funeral than to this high school reunion”.

These lyrics may have appealed to the teenagers from generation X, but to those who grew up with Green Day’s music, it seems that they have outgrown the temper tantrums displayed in “Loss of Control”.

Sorry guys, but you might want to save these lyrics for a garage band with members too young for any sort of high school reunion.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am an avid Green Day fan.  I own almost all their albums and have been listening to them for years.  Even when people have bashed the more recent Green Day releases, I have continued to listen to the group.

They have had a big impact on many listeners since they first began pumping out great pop-punk songs in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  However, upon hearing this album, I must say that I was expecting better.

¡Uno! might have been a first step in an uncommon marketing strategy, but I have to say, this album still leaves much to be desired.

Jon Steben
Contributing Writer

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