Green Day - ¡Uno! (Cover Artwork)

Green Day

¡Uno! (2012)


The first part of Green Day's career is a natural evolution between the formation of the band and the release of Warning, in 2000. The second part starts with the release of American Idiot and is determined by the trio's decision to embrace rock stardom and begin to pose as an arena rock act that writes big sounding rock operas and puts on a show filled with fireworks and other gimmicks. The release of ¡Uno! marks the moment when these two separate eras meet. The new album is part of a huge and pretentious trilogy of records, but at the same time features simpler pop rocks that could have perfectly been released around 2002.

The record starts very well with four good pop punk songs in "Nuclear Family," "Stay The Night," "Carpe Diem" (which sounds a bit like Shenanigans' "Suffocate") and "Let Yourself Go," the punkiest sounding song of the release and arguably the best. After the danceable break of "Kill The DJ," ¡Uno! comes back to its Nimrod-esque sound alternating between "punkier" songs like "Loss of Control," "Angel Blue" and "Rusty James" (whose verses remind "Scattered" quite a lot), and '60s pop influenced songs like "Fell For You", "Sweet 16" and the Foxboro Hot Tubs-sounding "Troublemaker," until reaching its end in the too long but ok "Oh Love".

If the 12 songs go down easily in 41 minutes and ¡Uno! flows nicely between typical Green Day pop punks and '60s infused pop rocks, the singles choices are quite puzzling, since both "Oh Love" and "Kill The DJ" are neither super catchy nor musically represent the record at all. They are not bad songs, really. They are just not very good ones either. But while "Oh Love" fits well as an album ending, "Kill The DJ" just seems incredibly out of place. Actually, it gives the impression that Billie Joe Armstrong and Co. were trying to sound like late Clash, but achieved a Franz Ferdinand-like track that doesn't sound like Green Day at all.

One ill-fitting song is far from ruining the album, though. If you're the kind of person that can look past the make-up, the rehearsed stage moves and the exaggerated use of the word "fuck" for 40-year-olds, and simply listen to the music of ¡Uno!, you're probably gonna enjoy this record. In fact, it's quite hard to dislike it if you're a fan of Nimrod and Warning. All in all, the album is far from being mind-blowing and is very unlikely to change the face of rock 'n' roll (or even the band's current status in the music scene), but is a breath of fresh air and simplicity in Green Day's career and should please both long time and opera rock era fans.