See also: Throwback Thursday: Green Day's Dookie
The evolution of Green Day has to be one of the strangest transformations in music history. Over the last 25 years the band has moved from angsty, power-pop tinged punk to politically-charged rock operas to Broadway musicals. So a return to their roots, so to speak, was always in the cards. It was never a question of 'if,' but of 'when.'
Today's as good a day as any - "Oh Love" the first single off Green Day's upcoming album ¡Uno! hit airwaves yesterday (along with a new song from '90s "punk-ish" superstars No Doubt), self-described by the band as "somewhere between AC/DC and the early Beatles." Um, really? Even narcissism on this level is a little unexpected.
The new record, which will be in stores September 25, is part of a trilogy. ¡Dos! and ¡Tre! will come out in November and January, each with a different band member's face on the cover. And if that's not enough Green Day for you, two documentaries are set for release around the same time.
Given that the last three releases from Green Day were live albums, it seems the most recent adaption for Green Day is arena rock, similar to bands like KISS or Journey who focus on reliving the glory days, over and over and over.
But back to that new single. "Oh Love" is signature Green Day -- trivial, drooling infatuation with just a tinge of self-destruction. Remember that bleeding heart grenade from American Idiot? This time, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong is wearing his "heart on a noose." Cute. I guess Green Day was edgy when I was in middle school, but something about this doesn't strike me the same way a decade later. Even if this is a nod back to Warning or Nimrod, "Oh Love" (structurally, it sounds almost identical to "When I Come Around" off Dookie) isn't exactly a great sign of things to come. Back in April, Armstrong announced through a press release "We are at the most prolific and creative time in our lives... This is the best music we've ever written ... We are going epic as fuck!" Are you sure, guys? 'Cuz I don't see it.
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Because Green Day recorded so many songs, too many to fit even on a double album, the band told Rolling Stone that this trilogy would be like Van Halen's Van Halen I, Van Halen II, and Van Halen III. Armstrong has also said that "Kill The DJ," and a few other upcoming tracks are going to sound like straight-up dance songs.
Personally, I have no idea how to feel about that. I like dancing and I like Green Day in a nostalgic sort of way, but combining the two? We'll just have to wait, but in the meantime, "Oh Love" doesn't scream "epic as fuck."
Give the song a listen yourself and tell me what I'm missing. Or should I be joining the Idiot Club?