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Monday, April 6, 2009

Green Day Returns

So Green Day has a new album coming out. Their last release, American Idiot, a self-proclaimed "rock opera" was a little too radio and not enough raw for my tastes. Dookie is an incredible and classic album, which could perhaps be credited with the creation of mainstream "pop-punk", paving the way for some of my other favorite bands such as Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World. Green Day's albums after Dookie, like Insomniac, and Nimrod were mediocre, while Warning was a pretty big step away from their punk roots. I hate to label anyone or anything "sell-out", because I think pretty much everyone, except Ian Mackeye, would accept major label success and international fame for changing their sound a little. For me, however, Green Day sort of softened their sound and took away their true punk edge, which paid homage to earlier California punk-rockers such as the Descendents, Dance Hall Crashers, Unwritten Law, (the UL & DHC from Blink's Josie lyrics), Operation Ivy, Rancid, etc. Their later albums, however, mainly American Idiot, pushed beyond the punk formula. Obviously many critics and fans took this as "growth", but to me the band was just trying too hard to be sophisticated and be intellectual, by going after easy topics (Bush, Iraq). I've heard it before, and frankly, when the Dixie Chicks are making the same political statements, you know the topic is contrived.
Back to the point. Green Day's new single, 21st Century Breakdown is regrettably bad. The cheesy keyboard intro and a tooth-achingly sweet choruses are a little to familiar for me. So, when it comes to Green Day, I will forever stick to my well worn copy of Dookie.

The single is available for preview at Green Day's website.

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