Album review: Green Day's ripping trilogy begins
• Green Day, ¡Uno!(Warner Bros.) – Has it really been a dozen years since Billie Joe Armstrong declared he wanted to be a minority? Seems like it was just last summer, not an eternity ago filled with two rock operas. That’s the genius of this first installment in the latest grand statement from these punk giants, a trilogy of albums arriving across four months: Any one of its bite-size samplings immediately sands off the heavy ponderousness that has too-thickly encrusted these last brave saviors of pure American rock ’n’ roll.
American Idiot and (slightly less so) 21st Century Breakdown are milestones of an era that surely will live on for generations, revived and re-examined like Tommy and Quadrophenia before them. But torpidity has set in about them; Idiot, their masterpiece, particularly reeks of branding and overexposure. Even the band seems tired of the monuments that expanded their empire, and what Armstrong and his unerring compatriots Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool sensed – correctly – is that a blast from the past played freshly in the present is what was required. Dookie 2 would have been a mistake, but reconnecting to its punchy DIY spirit was essential.
It’s easy to reassert credentials, though – only takes a zinger or two detached from any larger narrative to accomplish that. What’s remarkable about ¡Uno!, other than how awesomely foul-mouthed some of its hooks are, is how deep such a deceptively random assortment gets.