Green Day - Nimrod (Cover Artwork)

Green Day

Nimrod (1997)


Until recently, I was in "Green Day" denial. Everyone was screaming sell out, but I was like "whatever man, they're still cool." Then I saw them at Warped Tour. They played almost all their hits, basically in chronological order, to a huge crowd just lapping it up like Longview-hungry-dogs. Then I heard "Warning", and began to lose a little more faith. The lighter style and claims of "this is the album when we focused more on the song writing" didn't do it for me at all. Then I saw them on "Behind the music", and nearly started to cry. Now they released a greatest hits album. That's pretty much the icing on the corporate cake.

"Nimrod" was the first sign that things might start changing in Green Day land. After "Insomniac", I was convinced Green Day could do no wrong, and that "Nimrod" would be even better. But when I bought it, I was struck with an unbalance of the punk and the pop they had previously evened out so well. Their first single, "Hitchin' a Ride", was edgy, but still lacked something all the previous singles had. After getting into the album, I noticed it was lacking all together. The good songs were pretty good. "Scattered", "Worry Rock", "Haushinka", and "Platypus" were all catchy, yet still the same old Green Day, with an uncany mix of pop and punk. However, there was an abundance of, what seemed like filler, to me. "The Grouch" sounded exactly like "Brat" from "Insomniac", "Nice Guys Finish Last","Prostetic Head","All the Time" and "Jinx" were pretty boring, and songs like "Take Back", "King for a Day" and "Walking Alone" just plain ol' sucked. Then, the radio dipped its spoon into a heaping pile of "Good Riddance(Time of your life)", and soon, 30-year-old soccer moms were plastering Green Day stickers on the bumpers of their new Dodge mini-vans. I originally liked the song for what it was. A soft, simple ballad with pretty well written, personal lyrics. As is the case with any radio hit, it was played deep into the ground, everywhere from family restaraunts to high school graduations, and I eventually detested the song with all of my being. That, for me anyway, marked the begining of the downfall. The one song I haven't mentioned yet is "Uptight". I liked this song til yesterday, when I heard Stevie Wonder's song "Uptight" on T.V. The choruses sound so similar that I thought I was hearing things, but it's true. If you don't believe me, download the two songs and hear for yourself.

Green Day's first two albums on Lookout still find their way into my rotation, somehow after all these years, at least once a month. "Dookie" and "Insomniac" were the major lable versions of the old Green Day, with perhaps a little more pessimism, but "Nimrod" was different. It seemed like it was aimed at all audiences, not just Green Day fans. They didn't even bother trying to cover it up by releasing the harder songs. It was not what I hoped for. A few good songs burried in a mess of lame ones. Basically the exact opposite of all the previous albums.

I'm not sure what Green Day has been after since 1997. Apparently, they weren't satisfied with being the biggest punk band on the planet, so they went for the biggest pop band on the planet instead. I'm sure Green Day could give two shits what I think of their recent material, but they should, because I know I'm not alone.