The Green Day boys are at it again, and by “it” I mean releasing another disappointing record that confirms they just can’t make a truly exciting and unique album anymore.
“¡Uno!,” the band’s ninth studio album, comes across as an attempt of a 40-something dad, desperate to appear as cool to his punk, teenage son.
Following the release of one too many family friendly rock operas and a (excuse the term) sell-out Broadway stint, it’s impossible to believe these guys have anything against the machine anymore.
I really want to give them credit for at least trying to reach out to their old “Dookie”-loving fan base, but they aren’t nearly daring enough.
Numerous expletives and lyrics about being rebellious and different than everybody else are not at all convincing.
Upbeat pop-rock progressions and predictable three-chord riffs reminiscent of tunes from the early 2000’s repeat throughout “¡Uno!” either making it a nostalgic listen or annoying bore.
As far as lyrics go, they are sadly far less flowery or fun like in “American Idiot” or punchy and impactful like in Nimrod.
When front man Billie Joe Armstrong isn’t yelling about how current pop culture sucks, he’s yelling about some girl with a fondness for hard alcohol that he once knew and loved for a night or two.
Green Day really wants you to remind you that they are the wild, anarchic dudes that once initiated a riot at a record store in New York City.
The tracks “Nuclear Family,” “Carpe Diem,” “Kill the DJ,” “Loss of Control,” “Rusty James,” and “Oh Love” mostly revolve around Armstrong telling others why their methods of living suck.
Most notable would be “Kill the DJ,” a clear stab at the wild popularity of electronic and dub-step genres.
However, the lyrics come off as arrogant and jealous more than clever and pithy. Welcome to 2012 fellas.
If you’re going to criticize an entire genre, you have to try a little harder than stating your plan to “shoot that f***er down.”
As for the other songs, the band takes on more schmaltzy and melodramatic tones when discussing true loves, heartbreaks, and the dirty little details in between.
“Stay the Night,” “Fell for You,” and “Sweet 16” share memories of long-lost loves with mostly radio-friendly tunes that will be certain to either cause eye-rolling or swooning.
The over-the-top “Angel Blue” offers cringe-worthy lyrics that I hope to God won’t bring up the revival of “emo” again.
“Stab my heart like a stick in the mud, cut my chest just to see the blood.”
In some strange attempt to be sexy, “Troublemaker” enters the picture.
However they try a bit too hard and stretch so far over sexy they reach the realm of offensive and straight-up weird.
“You’re looking like a Jezebel, hot as Hell… I wanna be your troublemaker.”
However, amid the mess there was one stand-out track; the Ramones-esque “Let Yourself Go.”
Now, I don’t use Ramones’ comparisons lightly, but this song deserves it. This is the only track where the raw anger and power doesn’t feel forced while being fueled by repetition and driving lyrics that work. It’s a shame the rest of the album couldn’t haven’t followed this formula.
Somebody needs to get these boys some makeup remover and motivation to create something more sophisticated and thoughtful.
However, we’ll just have to wait and see if the next two installments to their “¡Uno!,” “¡Dos!,” “¡Tré!” trilogy can finally remind us what we liked so much about them in the first place.
Katie Madden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.