Green Day – ¡Uno! (2012)

Green Day are back with their new album, ¡Uno! and there are more than a few surprises with the release.

The first is that it is the first of a trilogy of albums. Sure, Guns N’ Roses and Bruce Springsteen have released two albums in one day before, and although ¡Uno! and it’s siblings aren’t being released on the same day (rather two months apart) it is still a staggering feat.

The album comes in at 41 minutes long. American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown are both way longer; this is the second surprise.

Finally given that songs such as ‘Jesus of Surburbia’ and many other tracks from the past ten years have been lengthy, the majority of tracks on ¡Uno! are around the 2:30 – 3:30 minute length; the longest is 5:03 a minute longer than its nearest rival.

So what are Green Day up to? Only they know, and over the next four months we will find out ourselves. However after a first listen this is the band you used to love, the original Green Day. You know, the one who released fast, short, frenetic punk “classics”.

It is almost not too much to say that the album is uplifting, and generally the subject matter seems to have changed somewhat. Opener ‘Nuclear Family’ doesn’t appear to be about an apocalyptic vision of the future state of the nation at all! 21st Century Breakdown this definitely is not. The tracks fly past, all of which are sounding great with a phenomenal production quality – in particular Mike Dirnt’s bass seems to rattle through your head.

‘Carpe Diem’ is extremely catchy, as is the fantastic ‘Kill The DJ’. A perfect single if only the lyrics were radio-friendly… When ‘Let Yourself Go’ starts you will be convinced you’ve heard it before. Simply put it oozes the signature sound of a band who have honed their craft for decades. Listening to this album not only leaves you feeling younger, like you were when you first heard Green Day, but it’s also suddenly Summer again!

By now you will have no doubt heard ‘Oh Love’ which was the first single from the album. This is the last track on the album and is the first time things slow down. Nothing else hear sounds like it; perhaps a precursor to their next release ¡Dos!?

Indeed. Given ¡Uno! is reverting away from long, opus concepts and direction one has to wonder what ¡Dos!, and ¡Tre! will bring.

Gareth Fraser
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