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Green Day Crafts Punk for Grown-ups — ‘¡Uno!’ Album Review

Green Day Uno
Reprise

When you think about it, the fact that Green Day is releasing an album trilogy really isn’t all that surprising. I mean, if you’re a punk band that suddenly creates two albums that many (myself included) consider to be two of the most important musical releases of this millennium, where do you really go from there?

Apparently, back to your roots, bringing with you the lesson you’ve learned along the way, if we’re to judge by ¡Uno!, the first of the trilogy, to be released next Tuesday (September 25).

The band has been nice enough to treat those of us who are too impatient to wait (*raises hand*) to a few — five, by my count — tracks off the album since mid-July, and now they’re streaming the whole thing on their Facebook page. So while it’s really your own fault if you go into this without having at least a little bit of an idea what you’re going to get, it’s still tough not to expect something along the same epic lines as American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown.

There’s a little bit of that same grandiosity here — on the first single, “Oh Love,” for example — but ¡Uno! definitely falls more along the lines of straight punk — albeit with Green Day’s now-signature twist. The reason Green Day is Green Day is that they’re not afraid to experiment, and that’s definitely evident throughout this disc.

“Kill The DJ” — one of the leaked tracks — was a favorite from the moment I heard it because of its solid bass line and unique sound. “Sweet 16″ sounds like somebody took a ’50s do-wop group, tatted them up and taught them to play instruments. And “Troublemaker”…well, apparently the guys haven’t quite given up their alter ego, Foxboro Hot Tubs.

At the same time, the band knows what works. “Carpe Diem” has an Idiot/Breakdown feel, but it’s decidedly not a track of either of those albums, while  ”Angel Blue” and “Loss Of Control” would fit right in with their ’90s music.

Above all, ¡Uno! is enjoyable because while their lyrics and arrangements are mature, Green Day doesn’t sound like they’ve been around for 25-plus years.

And the best part? This album is only the first one.

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