There are a number of ironies in relation to the release of the new Green Day album, ¡UNO!. First and foremost, the album dropped within a week of lead singer, Billy Joe Armstrong’s tirade in Las Vegas at the iHeartRadio concert (because Usher ran long and ate 25 minutes of Green Day’s allotted time slot).
Yes, Billie. That was inconsiderate of Usher. But, Armstrong’s 2 minute “meltdown” was not only full of egotistical comments that were erroneous and obviously blurted out in a frenzy from froth-flecked lips, but also more full of “F” bombs than an Andrew Dice Clay show. Now, as rock and roll a move as it was for the band to destroy their guitars on stage, you really need to question their “punk credibility” to begin with since this move occurred at an iHeartRadio event.
The other interesting irony in regards to ¡UNO! is it came out 2 weeks after the summer ended which is absolutely criminal. This album should have been getting the crapped played out of it from Memorial Day ‘til Labor Day from every radio, iPod and smartphone in the world. This is quite possibly Green Day’s greatest album they have ever released! Sure, AMERICAN IDIOT was great and even spawned as nice little Broadway show for Middle America to go see when they were in NYC to feel like they were artsy and cutting edge. But, ¡UNO! is Green Day distilled to their absolute purest form. Twelve songs. Every one of them is worthy of being a hit single and even video-worthy if MTV still played videos.
From the opening notes of “Nuclear Family” onward, this album never lets you go. With this record, one realizes that Green Day has never been or is a “punk” band. They are a pop band. This album would have sounded right at home in the mid 70′s with the likes of bands such as The Shoes, The Records, Dwight Twilley Band and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (before they embraced their Southern roots).
“Let Yourself Go” carries an exalted scream that would make Dave Grohl green with envy. Other tracks such as “Carpe Diem” and “Loss of Control” show that Green Day is the spiritual children of Joey Ramone and Debbie Harry. Easily the lynchpin song and peak of this record in all ways possible (production, playing, vocals) is “Kill the DJ”. It is one of those songs we refer to in our house as “earworms”; songs that are so incredibly hooky and catchy you wake up in the middle of the night with it going through your head.
There’s even a touch of Bruce Springsteen in the guitar intro to “Fell for You” as it becomes the greatest song Phil Spector never produced. With a chorus of, “Had a dream that I kissed your lips and it felt so true … Then I woke up a nervous wreck and I fell for you,” you realize the beauty in the simplicity of a 3-chord rock and roll love song.
Soon after the iHeartRadio incident, it was announced that Billie Joe was seeking help for substance abuse issues. Billie, get better. America needs to see these songs live.