Verdict: 21st Century Broken Hearts
For Fans of: The Everly Brothers, Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Jewel, Michael Nesmith, Sun Records
- Roving Gambler
- Long Time Gone
- Lightning Express
- Silver Haired Daddy of Mine
- Down in the Willow Garden
- Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet?
- Oh So Many Years
- Barbara Allen
- Rockin’ Alone (In an Old Rockin’ Chair)
- I’m Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail
- Put My Little Shoes Away
The Violent Femmes once introduced a verse in the song “Prove My Love” singing “Third verse / same as the first”. Larry and Andy Wachowski also created two sequels to the movie The Matrix that severely diluted the impact of the original (in my humble opinion). Green Day have done something that most mainstream musical acts have never attempted – release 3 albums within a span of just a few months. I was very skeptical of this plan, but found myself pleasantly surprised with the 1st two installments – ¡Uno! and ¡Dos! (truth be told, I liked the 2nd installment a bit better). The release of the third (and last) record of the trilogy, ¡Tré! was bumped up by a month due to lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s ongoing rehabilitation treatments. How does this record stack up to the previous two? Going back to the Violent Femmes lyric, it has some winning moments but also has moments that sound like more generic versions of songs found on the 1st two installments.
We last heard from Green Day in September of this year with the release of the 1st part of their trilogy of records, ¡Uno!. Gone were the political posturing of the last two records – instead listeners were treated to party songs, 50’s inspired pop-punk songs, and a liberal use of the colorful metaphor “fuck”. Some people thought it was a nice return to the band’s roots, some thought it was a complete sell out – personally, I thought it was a fun record that got better with each listen. Here we are just a short time later with the 2nd installment of the trilogy, ¡Dos!. Consider me pleasantly surprised that this record is even better than its predecessor.
It is almost impossible to objectively review a Green Day record in the year 2012. There are segments of the fan base that have never really forgiven Billie Joe, Mike and Tre for moving on from pop-punk to overblown rock operas (with 2004’s American Idiot and 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown). There’s also a segment of fans that felt like Green Day really hit its stride when they moved on from silly songs about masturbation / drugs and love the political posturing of recent years. The release of not 1, not 2, but 3 records over the next 4 months will prove to be one of the most ambitious projects ever taken on by a mainstream artist (certain indie artists still release 3 or 4 records a year. Really – they do). Despite any mainstream vs. punk, silly hipster / true punk arguments – I love Green Day. There, I said it. I’m a huge Green Day fan.