Three years after the release of 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day’s latest album ¡Uno! shows that the band have toned down their social and political lyrical content, following the more conventional message of the stereotypical musicians’ lifestyle: sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It feels as if they’ve stepped away from the more serious topics and descended into more light-hearted messages: lost love, drinking to your heart’s content and embracing the joys of life etc.
However, this does not affect the new album’s content. Epic choruses like in the closing track ‘Oh Love’ includes a semi-acapella introduction accompanied by supercharged electric riffs; catchy guitar riffs full of distortion; and nerve-wrecking build-ups – most distinctly shown in ‘Nuclear Family’ – all of which are the basic components to a successful album as well as an outstanding performance. The opening line of the first track (“Gonna ride the world like a merry-go-round”) clearly emphasises the young, rebellious attitude that has tainted the bands career – cue Billie Joe Armstrong’s alcohol-induced fiasco live on American television, causing him to end up in rehab. Although they are no longer teenagers, they still enjoy causing chaos for pure entertainment. ‘Troublemaker’ is reminiscent of the opening to ‘My Sharona’ by The Knack, filled with twangy guitars and regular falsetto fillers. Some of the tracks on the album such as ‘Let Yourself Go’ and ‘Carpe Diem’ echo their previous raw, 90’s punk-rock anthems. The recycling of old materials is cleverly incorporated with innovative musical techniques, such as the dance-y, up-beat ‘Kill the DJ’, which create an unusual, yet pleasant sound.
As the first record of the trilogy albums, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! are likely to follow where ¡Uno! has left off. There may not be any social and political references and explicit manifestations in their lyrics, but they still haven’t lost their way in delivering their unruly, yet charming, charisma to the world.