Green Day’s Uno! surpasses bad expectations

Green Day has disappointed on its last several albums.  This one?  It depended on the track you picked.

Green Day has disappointed on its last several albums. This one? It depended on the track you picked.

Nick Cundari, Staff Reporter

When somebody asks what you think about Green Day, most people think of their heyday in the 90’s and early 2000’s. With hit songs like Basket Case, When I Come Around, Good Riddance, and American Idiot, a listener would expect the same fiery attitude in all their music. Sadly, Green Day’s 2009 studio attempt, 21st Century Breakdown, fell rather short in my eyes. Trying to make radio-friendly songs is one thing, but that doesn’t mean that you should throw out everything that is great about your “punk” band. Their fierce attitude that appeared on many of their early albums and made countless teenagers fall in love with the band, was suddenly gone.

When I decided to sit down and listen to the band most recent album, Uno!, I didn’t have very high expectations. I was expecting the same boring radio hits that appeared on 21st Century Breakdown, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When the first track, “Nuclear Family”, kicked in, I was blown away. The song sounded as if it could’ have appeared on one of my favorite 90’s Green Day albums. With a catchy chorus and a fun solo by lead guitarist and vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong, the opening track made me excited for the rest of the album.

Sadly, the second track fell incredibly short of my expectation. While “Nuclear Family” was edgy and exciting, “Stay the Night” was boring and was a bad attempt at a love song. Following that was “Carpe Diem”, which was just as boring and was an obvious filler track.

My interest in the album was renewed when the fourth song, “Let Yourself Go” kicked in. I listened to the entire album twice and this track stood out more than any other. The guitar riffs were perfect and the whole song could have dated back to their glory days in the mid to late 90’s. With fiery lyrics and raw energy that I hadn’t heard from Green Day since before American Idiot, I instantly fell in love with the song.

The whole album then went back and forth from old-school punk songs all the way to failed attempts at radio hits.  “Kill the DJ” and “Fell for You” both fell short, falling back into the now regular pool of Green Day’s attempts at gaining more radio air-play. The only songs that were able to keep my attention after “Let Yourself Go “were “Loss of Control”, “Angel Blue”, and “Sweet 16”. All three showed a fun side of Green Day and I have found myself humming the chorus’ these past few days.  Besides that, most other songs couldn’t keep my attention long enough to even remember a single line.

“Oh Love” should have been named “Oh My God, What have We Done?” Very few love songs have sparked such anger in me. In complete honesty, this could be one of the worst Green Day songs ever recorded. Being the last song on an already satisfactory album, I was contemplating the thought of skipping it, but I decided to put myself through the song and try not to suffer too much; it didn’t work. Every note in the song kept drilling two words into my head; sell-outs. Although I enjoyed about half of the album, this last song left a bad taste in my mouth.

All things considered, Uno! was a decent attempt at an album. Although it wasn’t able to match up to their great 90’s albums, Green Day did manage to put forth a handful of awesome, punk tunes that I’ll enjoy for much time to come.