Green Day is back, after the odd but unique triple album (yes, triple) in 2012s “Uno,” “Dos,” and “Tre” albums, they are now releasing their 12th studio album in “Revolution Radio.” The album starts out a bit unexpectedly with the track “Somewhere Now,” with a soft guitar and vocals by singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, but about 45 seconds into the track we hear classic Green Day with big guitars and fast drums. “Bang Bang,” the lead single, could be described as the most “punk” song on the entire album. It has a very upbeat tempo with fast guitars, drums, vocals, and anything else you can think of. What is interesting about this track is that it is very punk in nature but also has more modern-rock style vocals, which mixes very well.
“Revolution Radio,” the titular track of the album, is a very American Idiot-esque song with a very anthemic chorus. “Say Goodbye” is an anti-violence song with lyrics such as, “Say goodbye to the ones that we love,” and, “Violence on the rise like a bullet in the sky. Oh Lord have mercy on my soul.” “Outlaws” is a nostalgic-ridden song, fusing a 50s-style ballad with modern rock. “Outlaws, when we were forever young,” are lyrics that suggest this a song reminiscing about youthful rebellion. “Bouncing Off the Wall,” is possibly the song that sounds the most like classic Green Day with a grungy, yet catchy, guitar and melody.
“Still Breathing” was the biggest, most pleasant, surprise of the entire album; an unusually hopeful ballad from the usually brutally honest band. A song that is more like a modern alternative song but in Green Day style, with lyrics like, “Cause I’m still breathing on my own. My heads above the rain and roses, making my way away,” suggest that this is a song about getting through a tough time in life. A catchy track that has Armstrong fondly looking on a romance, “Youngblood” will probably be the song that will be stuck in your head the most. Another song that sounds like it could be on their 2004 album “American Idiot” (or even 2009’s “21st Century Breakdown”), “Too Dumb to Die” was neither terrible nor spectacular.
“Troubled Times” is more of a melancholy song that talks about, as the name suggests, the troubled times that the country seems to be going through as Armstrong sees it. By far the longest song on the record, “Forever Now” has many different aspects to it. The song first starts off sounding like old-school Green Day but the last third of it goes into ballad mode, borrowing aspects from the aforementioned track “Somewhere Now.” The album ends on the same note as it begins but this time sticks with it for the entire song, “Ordinary World” is an acoustic, folksy song that sees just Armstrong and his guitar for the entire track. “Where can I find the city of shining light in an ordinary world? How can I leave a buried treasure behind in an ordinary world?” asks Armstrong as he seeks how to find something special in a seemingly ordinary world.
Overall, Green Day seems to capture the magic that they found in “American Idiot,” with songs that capture the same style and impact that they had on the album that captivated the punk-rock world many years ago. The upside is that they also find a way to progress their music instead of just dwelling in past musical style. Songs like “Bang Bang,” “Say Goodbye,” “Still Breathing,” “Youngblood,” and “Ordinary World” being the most memorable for this mostly solid album from the rock veterans.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5