Album Review: ¡UNO!

Taylor Rocca, Copy/Web Editor Ω

Green Day’s latest release ¡UNO! hits shelves on Sept. 25. – Image courtesy of Reprise

Green Day is back. On Sept. 25, the band will release ¡UNO!, the first of three Green Day albums set to hit shelves by Jan. 15, 2013.

The band’s previous release, 21st Century Breakdown, was applauded by critics as it received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2010, beating out rock gods AC/DC, U2, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, as well as Dave Matthews Band.

¡UNO! marks a return to the late-1990s/ early-2000s sound that Green Day became so well-known for with Nimrod (1997) and Warning (2000). That being said, ¡UNO! doesn’t quite compare to 1994’s Dookie, widely regarded as Green Day’s crowning achievement.

“Oh Love” is the first single off of the album and it has stirred a bit of controversy with a racy, explicit version of its music video being released exclusively on Playboy.com.

The single isn’t the only thing stirring controversy leading up to the album’s release. On Sept. 21, Green Day performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. As the band’s performance was winding to a close, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong stopped mid-song and spiralled out of control in a cursing tirade as he alleged Green Day’s set was being cut short.

“Gimme a f*ckin’ break! One minute left. One minute f*ckin’ left. You’re gonna give me f*ckin’ one  minute?” Armstrong spat into the mike. “Let me tell you something. I’ve been around since f*ckin’ 1980-f*ckin’-eight and you’re gonna give me one f*ckin’ minute? You gotta be f*ckin’ kidding me! What the f*ck? I’m not f*ckin’ Justin Bieber you motherf*ckers. You gotta be f*ckin’ jokin’. This is a f*ckin’ joke.”

Armstrong proceeded to smash his guitar on stage before walking off.

On Sept. 23, the band’s website announced Armstrong was seeking treatment for substance abuse and subsequent promotional appearances for ¡UNO! had been postponed.

While Armstrong is battling substance abuse, the latest material being released by Green Day has not suffered as a result.

“Nuclear Family” opens the album with three minutes of energy and a short, but great bass solo courtesy of Mike Dirnt.

“Stay the Night” relieves “Nuclear Family” and truly hits home the return to that familiar sound from 2000’s Warning.

“Kill the DJ” is laid out mid-album with a groovy guitar track courtesy of Armstrong, who sings, “We are the vultures, the dirtiest kind. We’ll cut you once in your heart and in your mind.”

It isn’t all doom and gloom on ¡UNO! as “Fell For You” is a bit of a throw-back to some of Green Day’s classic love-angst tracks from the mid- to late-90s. “I had a dream that I kissed your lips and it felt so true,” Armstrong belts out. “Then I woke up as a nervous wreck and I fell for you.”

“Sweet 16” is the tune that most closely ties ¡UNO! to 2010’s 21st Century Breakdown as it resembles “21 Guns” in many ways, primarily Armstrong’s soft vocal track.

Finally “Oh Love” wraps up the 12-track effort by the East Bay, Calif. natives.

For the die-hard, lifelong Green Day fan, chances are you will be pleased by ¡UNO! For the Green Day fan who lost interest when “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” became a pop-smash on the Billboard chart, there might still be hope for you as ¡UNO! does rekindle some of the late-90s Green Day magic. Just don’t expect the same glory that made you fall in love with Green Day back in 1994. ¡UNO! is no Dookie, but it is a respectable follow-up to 21st Century Breakdown.