By Casey Gale
It is quite likely that the majority of those reading this review have never lived in a time when the music world did not have Green Day in it. Known for both the clever, melodic pop-punk hits such as When I Come Around and Longview to the more grand rock anthems such as American Idiot and 21 Guns, Green Day has been an ever-evolving staple in the music industry for over two decades.
In 1991, the band’s first album, 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours featured songs about teenage love and angst. Green Day helped bring punk to mainstream music with their third album, megahit Dookie. As the band members grew up, the tone of their music shifted accordingly without ever losing the honesty mixed with humor that Green Day fans have always related to.
For years, the band members sang about anger, boredom, changing responsibilities, relationship problems and the fear of growing old all within their unique, short and sweet pop-punk-rock format. Though always evolving, the band decided to switch up the formula and go to a place far removed from where they had found previous success. Green Day went against the grain of the kind of music expected of them after years in the industry by releasing the bold, controversial rock opera American Idiot. The album perfectly captured a feeling of Americans still trying to find their voice in the post-9/11 world. After, the band maintained in a more serious state of mind and released another socially relevant album in 21st Century Breakdown.
Now we have reached another new chapter in Green Day’s career. Green Day has managed to go back to basics and yet remain as ambitious as ever with ¡Uno!, the first installment in what will become a trilogy of albums after the second album, ¡Dos!, is released in November and the third album, ¡Tré!, is released in January 2013.
Green Day seems to have taken pieces of the different songs they have made thus far while still adding freshness to their sound in the creating of ¡Uno!. Without question, this album is sure to please longtime fans of Green Day and new listeners alike. From the angry, classic punk song Let Yourself Go, to the rallying rock anthem Carpe Diem, to the funky, dance-rock Kill the DJ, to the sweet love song Fell for You (a song reminiscent of some of their earliest material), it is not difficult to find a song to love on ¡Uno!. It is the kind of album that is perfect for when you feel like rolling down the car windows on a crisp autumn day and cranking up the stereo. It is the kind of album that makes you dance around your room and sing along as you ready yourself for the day. Listening to this album is, simply put, a great amount of fun.
Green Day have always had a special way of making their songs not about the glamorous lives of rock stars, but about the highs and lows of the ordinary lives they lead outside of the spotlight. This authenticity resonates with fans on a level not easily reached. ¡Uno! keeps this tradition going by discussing raw emotions, from rage to nostalgia.
After listening to the twelve songs featured on ¡Uno! for the first time, I was left thrilled and wanting more. Luckily, there are still two more albums on the way. Knowing Green Day, it is probably fair to say that the best is yet to come.