Well, here we are! 4 years after the release of the trilogy ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!,Green Day is back with its 12th studio album, Revolution Radio. This band has always been one of my favourites and Billie Joe, Mike & Tré have always been dear to me. For this reason, I was really happy to learn that they were back in the studio, and to be honest, I was a little bit worried that it might never happen again.
Indeed, as you may know, the boys had been through a lot since 2012. From Billie Joe’s meltdown on stage at the iHeart Radio Music Festival & his entry into a rehab program to Mike’s wife’s & touring guitarist Jason White’s serious health issues, the situation didn’t count in the favour of the boys who had to postpone some tour dates during the promotion of the album trilogy.
As these albums didn’t work the way they had expected, the band decided to take a break in order to find inspiration in new experiences, enhance their creativity and start afresh. In order to do that, Billie Joe created a new studio in Oakland, California, Tré wanted to rediscover his drum set, and Mike decided to take some bass lessons to go back to the basics.
According to me, all this process was absolutely necessary as the band kind of lost itself when recording the trilogy. Green Day wanted to do something really ambitious, but for me, three albums in one year was too much to handle. Of course, it was a great challenge to overcome, but the result was a little bit disappointing: in my opinion, the songs were too similar to one another and musically speaking, Green Day had done much better in their previous records. As paradoxical as it may seem, the albums were so overthought that the result was really simplistic.
Well, as they say, efforts pay off and today, I’m so happy to tell you that Revolution Radio is a great success! I have noticed a huge difference between the trilogy and this new record. Indeed, by producing Revolution Radio by themselves, which didn’t happen since Warning in 2000, the boys could work as a trio and enhance their creativity without any in-between people to influence their work. I think that Green Day needed that. This record is shorter than the 3 previous ones as a whole, but it is definitely stronger, which proves that quality is way more important than quantity!
What I like about the album
Well, the first thing that I really like about Revolution Radio is that it is a politically charged record. If you’re a fan like me, you know that Green Day is a politically committed band and I missed this characteristic, which, according to me, is one of their main strengths. According to the band, the aim of this record was to reflect the current state of violence in the USA, which is definitely the case when listening to songs such as Bang Bang or Revolution Radio, the first songs to be written two years ago which would eventually become the first singles of the album.
On the one hand, Bang Bang is a song about mass shootings that have been occurring in the USA and the act of immortalizing such atrocities through photos and videos on the internet. What makes this song really provocative and powerful is that Billie Joe wrote it from a mass shooter’s point of view. Writing from a first-person perspective has always been one of Green Day’s signature styles, and it still works really well as it allows people to immerse themselves in the songs.
On the other hand, Revolution Radio was written by Billie Joe after seeing protesters in the streets of Manhattan following the shooting of the Afro-American teenager Michael Brown by a policeman in Ferguson. In my opinion, this song could have totally been on American Idiot, as it reminds me a bit of the spirit of the band’s most famous record.
What I also like is that these politically-charged songs are mixed with more personal ones. I’m thinking about Still Breathing or Ordinary World, the latter being the perfect song to end a record, especially when it’s been pretty energetic from the beginning. You wouldn’t say no to a little bit of calm after the storm, would you? By the way, Ordinary World is the perfect song to wake up in the morning, just saying!
The second thing that I like about this album is that we can notice some influences from the previous records, especially 21st Century Breakdown, which is the album that made me love Green Day. Indeed, Somewhere Now & Forever Now remind me of 21st Century Breakdown & See the Light, as they are the intermixed debut and last songs of each album (second to last in the case of Forever Now). Furthermore, Bouncing of the Wall reminds me a little bit of Horseshoes & Handgrenades in terms of notes, rhythm and guitar riffs.
What I don’t really like
Because perfection doesn’t exist, I would say that the main weakness of this record is the song Youngblood, which according to me was not necessary as it doesn’t bring anything special to the album, but it’s still nice to listen to. Green Day decided to make it a single, but I think that they could have chosen other songs such as Outlaws, which is one of my favourite songs on the album.
In a nutshell, as you understood, I loved this album. Although I wasn’t really fond of the first two singles when they came out, they grew on me and listening to the whole record made a lot more sense. Now, I can understand what the boys wanted to do and in which direction they wanted to go. I feel like the Green Day that I’ve always loved is back, and I couldn’t be happier!