Not many bands have been as popular as Green Day in the past 10 years. Things seemed to be going perfectly for the Bay Area punks as they entered their thirties, with their 2004 release, “American Idiot,” peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Sadly, Green Day’s follow-up album could not reach the critical nor commercial success of the band’s previous effort. “21st Century Breakdown” was full of bad hooks and lacked any sort of rage and frustration that had become so prevalent and popular in Green Day’s music.
In Feburary of 2012, Green Day announced that it was recording new material and would release all of the songs on three separate albums beginning in September. The first of these three albums, “Uno!,” featuring the single, “Oh Love,” seemed quite promising prior to release, but honestly, it is one Green Day album that I will forever choose to avoid, like the plague.
Things don’t start off too terribly. The first track “Nuclear Family” doesn’t stray too far from what we have come to expect from the band. There is a distinct pop sheen, and the snare drum has a compressed crack, but the rest of the song lacks lyrical originality, a poor introduction to the rest of this disappointing album.
“Carpe Diem” may be one of the more listenable songs on “Uno!.” It is perhaps the song that most resembles the glory days of the band à la the albums “Warning” and “Nimrod.” It also has the most radio-friendly chorus.
Soon after that, though, things get ugly in a hurry. New single “Kill the DJ” is one of the most overproduced songs that Green Day has released, and I am honestly surprised that the band included it on the album. Loaded with way more profanity (which they usually use as a comedic device) than other Green Day songs, any momentum built up by the dance-beat verses is immediately smashed by the horrendous chorus. This song alone makes the album forgettable.
The final song breathes a little bit of air into an album already on life support. “Oh Love” was “Uno!’s” first single, and it is a safe one, at that, bridging the gap between “American Idiot,” and “21st Century Breakdown.” The chorus is melodically pleasing and manages to stay in your head for a very long time.
Overall, “Uno!” is stale. Weighed down by glaring mistakes such as the abhorrent “Kill the DJ,” the album fails to inspire any sort of interest in the rest of the band’s discography.
I was sincerely intrigued when I heard that Green Day would be straying away from its grandiose albums about political and social strife. Three albums in four months would put them on a more simple writing scheme. Unfortunately, “Uno!” seems to be the last gasps of a band whose popularity is now fading into the sunset.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Patrick Fort at Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org.