– the Green Day albums prior to Dookie are good but you listen to them and think, “Man, these guys need a budget”; this is that rare breed of punk (hyper melodic) that’s actually hindered by rawer sonic ethics
– the middle of “Burnout” rips off the middle of “Pictures of Lily” by the Who, but “Burnout” is faster, so…all forgiven?
– speaking of the Who, that rah rah ending of “Chump,” the bit that crashes into “Longview”…why were any of us surprised when Green Day became an arena band and started writing rock operas?
– the Green Day backlash (which occurred, what, between 1995-97?) was so intense I still feel residual guilt for ever owning an original cassette copy of this album (which is dumb, because you should just like what you like and love what you love and I’ve since owned far more dubious musical ventures, including a good portion of Leonard Nimoy’s discography)
– I’ve heard “Welcome to Paradise” so many times throughout my life (both voluntarily and involuntarily) that it no longer registers as anything except a sound that is occurring in the vicinity of my ears
– part of me wishes the entire album had the twangy tone of “Pulling Teeth” (seems a little richer)
– part of me wishes the only segment of “Basket Case” they had released was Billie’s vocal track
– people who accuse this album of being (too) juvenile have obviously never heard anything by the Queers or Screeching Weasel
– Dookie producer Rob Cavallo has worked on everything Green Day has done since 1994, including soundtrack stuff and live albums; that kind of job security is rare these days
– Dookie producer Rob Cavallo also worked on Kid Rock’s Rock n’ Roll Jesus, which makes me want to smash a fucking carp right into his face
– Dookie is fun and will always be the Rosetta Stone that made me decide to further investigate this punk rock stuff, but it stopped being my favorite Green Day album the second Insomniac dropped in ’96; they just sound like a stronger band on Insomniac, playing tighter, louder songs with way more frenzy and better melody…I don’t understand why people tend to dismiss that one sight out of hand (or w/e that nonsensical phrase is)
– the hidden song here is the aural equivalent of looking at Pauly Shore
At this juncture, Green Day have become diet creme soda—they remain sweet and spunky, but overall their brand pales in comparison to the richer, full-bodied equivalent. ¡Uno!, the first entry in a trilogy of albums from the ’90s punk titans that (for better or worse) mirrors the Kiss solo album debacle of thirty-four years ago, takes its production cues from all those mid-Aughts Killers records and thins out Green Day’s signature stomp to a wafer. With the bombast that served them so well on earlier outings evaporated, these MTV stalwarts barely squeak by on a spate of mellifluous but generally ineffectual mall punk hymns that bounce between the universal subjects of love (“Stay The Night,” “Fell For You”) and bein’ punk as fuck (“Kill The DJ,” “Carpe Diem,” “Nuclear Family”).
It doesn’t help that singer / guitarist Billie Joe Armstong coughs up some of the worst lyrics of his career on ¡Uno!—clouds of malaise circling around him, BJ hits the nail on the head (unknowingly?) in “Rusty James” when he mews “This whiskey sour / amateur hour / raise your glass and toast, my friends / one day we will fight again.” Further evidence of Green Day’s laziness: ¡Uno! and its two follow-ups are meant to represent each member of this famed trio, but for the past thirteen years they’ve been a quartet thanks to the addition of Pinhead Gunpowder guitarist Jason White in 1999. What a shame they’ve Richie Ramoned this guy into what appears to be a permanent independent contractor position.
Then again, if ¡Uno! is indicative of Green Day’s general direction, maybe asking for another album isn’t the smartest idea.
FINAL SCORE: One and a half pints of Billie Joe’s eyeliner (out of four).