Uno is very much a Green Day album. Musically, it’s similar to both American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. However, gone are the political rants of the past two albums. And, lyrically, this album is more similar to, say, Dookie or Nimrod. And I’m perfectly OK with that. As with my past two music reviews, I’m going to go song by song.
1. Nuclear Family
Awesome guitar intro? Check. Great lyrics? Check. Billie Joe Armstrong? Check. The first line of Nuclear Family is “I’m gonna ride the world like a merry go round”. Well this song does have some political themes, it’s more about living a carefree life. And the guitar riffs emphasize this, as do the lyrics. On this song, Green Day sounds almost playful, and it’s a welcome change from the seriousness of their past two albums. This song, both musically and lyrically is awesome, and a great opener to the first part of Green Day;s triple album.
2. Stay the Night
Upon first listening to it, I wasn’t sure I liked Stay the Night. But I’ve listened to it, and the rest of the album, a few times through, and realized that I actually like it. The fast pace of the song is great, and, again, this song is far from the serious political rants of previous albums. It’s about meeting someone in a bar and going home for the night. Anyone who thinks that this song has political motives obviously doesn’t understand the song. But it’s a great song, and, like Nuclear Family, is a fun listen, and sounds great. The music is awesome, and the lyrics are as well. It’s far from the poorly written bubblegum pop love songs, and it is an excellent song.
3. Carpe Diem
This song has an awesome intro, that sounds a lot like Jesus of Suburbia. The decrescendo effect is great here, and really effective. The chorus is awesome, I love the lyric “Carpe Diem, a battle cry, are we all too young too die?”. It’s an awesome lyric about how we should seize the day since life is such a short and fragile thing. And what about “Life’s a gas and it’s running out”? That’s another great lyric, comparing human life to a tank of gas that can run out faster than you think. The guitar work is also great on this song, and, as always, Billie Joe Armstrong’s voice kicks ass.
4. Let Yourself Go
Let Yourself Go is an awesome song about being uptight and worrying too much. The song is great, as it applies to almost everyone’s life. there’s always that one person that always complains and can’t be satisfied, and just doesn’t know how to have fun. And that’s what this song is about. As the chorus goes “Let yourself go, let yourself go, let yourself go.” It fits with the mood of the previous track, Carpe Diem, as that one is about seizing the day, and this one is about just letting yourself go.
5. Kill the DJ
This song is a complete change stylistically. It’s not exactly the punk rock sound we’re used to hearing from Green Day, but it’s still a great song. The theme is, obviously, about the culture wars. Oh, and the music industry as well. “Someone kill the DJ” is obviously referring to getting rid of the crap music that is made on computers that seems to be popular these days. It’s not necessarily about killing a DJ, but more about killing music that offers no creativity or originality. Plus the percussion and guitars on this song are awesome. And that chorus? It makes me smile. Green Day must have been mad when they wrote this song, as every other line of the chorus includes the F-bomb. Still, an excellent song.
6. Fell For You
The drum intro on this song? Well that was great, and showcases Tre Cool’s obvious skills with the drum kit. This song is another one about love, and it’s great. Lyrically, it’s awesome, and portrays love in the way it really happens. “And I woke up a nervous wreck” is a perfect line for defining how I would imagine someone would feel upon falling in love. Musically, it’s great as well, just like the rest of the material on the album. However, it isn’t as good as many of the other songs on the album.
7. Loss of Control
Let me just say this: Green Day has an awesome rhythm section. The intro is great, and they stay consistently awesome throughout the song. This is probably my favorite song on this album lyrically. “Hanging out all by myself, at least I’m in good company” is what I often feel like. Loss of Control is about losing control as a result of people around you doing or saying stupid things, and getting over it. The opening line “I’m taking down my enemies cause they’re all so fucking useless” is great, and I doubt I’m the only one who sometimes feels that way.
Troublemaker is a FUN song. The guitars and drums give it that fun feel, and so does the way in which it is sung by Billie Joe Armstrong. Musically, it sound like Kill the DJ, if Kill the DJ was a little less serious. I love the way that Green Day can do that, use an extremely similar style of music, but alternate so that it gives the listener a different mood each time. This song isn’t the best on the album lyrically, but I can overlook that because of how awesome the music is.
9. Angel Blue
This is another love song, but presented differently than many out right now. It’s about going after someone who is probably never going to feel the same way about you. the line, “You’re a princess, I’m a fucking clown” shows this perfectly, as Billie Joe Armstrong compares the two people in this song to a princess and a clown. Also, the line “You want a senorita and now your heart is gonna break” Also supports this theme, as it’s about having one’s heart broken by another. Musically, it’s also a great song, and definitely stands out on the album.
10. Sweet Sixteen
This is a great song musically. The guitar chords are awesome, and go really well with Billie Joe Armstrong’s voice. The lyrical style also reminds me a lot of Last of the American Girls, which is a good thing. Lyrics are great in this song, it’s about reminiscing about a past relationship that didn’t end well. The analogies that Green Day uses are unparalleled, at least in my opinion, especially the line “Stab out my heart like a dart board.” It’s an awesome song. Lyrics are great, and so is the music.
11. Rusty James
This is another good song. (Surprise, right? Not really.) The music is great, guitars, drums, bass, vocals, everything. It all blends together to create a full sound that is clearly Green Day. And lyrics? Great. Lines like “Your heart can’t even break because it doesn’t even pound” are great, as are “The losers can’t even win for losing. What I can’t decide on is the theme of the song. It could easily be about love. But then, it could also be about losing old friends. Please, tell me what you think in the comments after you listen to this song. I’d be interested to see what others have to say about it.
12. Oh Love
This is the best song on the album. Putting at the end was a great choice, as it ends extremely strong. Obviously, it’s a love song, but like all the other love songs on the album, it’s nothing like other love songs. The quiet intro with the guitar and Billie Joe Armstrong is great, and building up into the chorus just sounds plain awesome. And I love the line “I’m wearing my heart on a noose”. It’s a classic. I also love the lines where Billie Joe Armstrong sings about all the stuff he’s talked himself out of. That’s another classic line. I’m extremely impressed with the lyrics in the song, and how well they blend with the music. This song will be remembered along with the likes of Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 21 Guns, and Longview in being classic Green Day songs.
Uno is a great album. Despite doing away completely with their more politicized style, which I was a huge fan of, they have crafted an album of mostly love songs that don’t sound like love songs you’ve ever heard before. And Green Day manages to sound fun on this album as well, which is great. They do show they still have the capacity to be angry though on songs like Kill the DJ and Loss of Control. While it’s not as good as the previous two albums, Uno showcases Green Day’s awesome writing skills, as well as their instrumental skill. The final score for this album is a 9/10!
What’d you think of the album? Sound off in the comments!