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A return to 2000
on September 26, 2012
So it's 1994, and your major label debut, "Dookie," just made you the biggest act around. you put out a few more albums that do well enough, but never recapture that initial success. Your time in the limelight has passed, the world has moved onto the next big thing...
And then, out of nowhere, the unheard of happens. You put out "American Idiot", a good ten years after what was supposed to be your biggest time of success, and it launches you right back into the spotlight. Suddenly you aren't just writing modern rock hits. These are Hot 100 chart toppers. Your band finally escaped the shadow of your major label debut. You've proven to the world that you're here to stay...but how the heck are you gonna follow it up?
Ever since "American Idiot" swept the nation, Green Day has been very strategic about where to take their career. "21st Century Breakdown" was an attempt to do a bigger, better "American Idiot." Now three years later, what in God's name can the band do? A return to the early 90's punk? A third rock opera? Something brand new? The answer ended up being ALL OF THE ABOVE. Green Day announced three new records; one power-pop, one garage rock, and one epic.
The first of three records is called UNO, which is a power pop record infused with punk energy. Don't listen to the reviewers that are calling this a return to Dookie's sound. This record fits in with the late 90's and pre-idiot Green Day output. If I had to sum it up, I'd say it sounds like a harder version of 2000's "Warning."
The songs themselves are a mixed bag. There are some true highlights here, but they're unfortunately surrounded by mediocre songs that probably never would have seen the light of day had the whole "3 albums in 4 months" concept never happened...
Which brings me to my final, and probably most important point. Is it fair to review this album yet? Standing alone, it's an average Green Day record with a few fantastic moments. As part of the trilogy, it may very well take on a whole new meaning. The true review of "Uno! Dos! Tre!" Won't exist until they're all out. For the time being, we've got UNO! to enjoy for what it is; a fun, up-tempo power-pop album that doesn't take itself too seriously.