Top positive review
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Have a Green Day
on 28 September 2012
I've been a Green Day (GD) fan since "Dookie" took over the world and I've enjoyed their music since. Some records, like 2000's "Warning", have been sketchy at best with maybe half a record being great and the rest not so much. "Uno" feels to me like this kind of GD record.
There are quite a few songs that, despite repeat listenings, I can't get into and feel very throwaway. Compare "Troublemaker", "Loss of Control", "Sweet 16" and "Fell For You" (which sounds like "Nimrod"-era GD) to some of GD's B-sides from the late 90s like "Desensitized", "Scumbag" or "Ha Ha You're Dead" and the B-sides actually sound far better than these supposed A-sides (you can get these B-sides on their record "Shenanigans"). If GD weren't doing 3 records in 4 months and were just doing 1, would some of these songs be cut? Most definitely.
But this is GD, gdammit! Billie-Joe is such a talented songwriter he can't help but put some excellent tunes on the record. "Nuclear Family" opens the record with an instantly likeable, punchy, poppy, energetic hook that grabs you and makes you want to jump and sing. And thankfully it's this quality in a number of songs on this record that make "Uno" worth listening to for any GD fan. "Let Yourself Go" and "Carpe Diem" are both classic GD-sounding songs while the enjoyable "Angel Blue" opening riff sounds like The Clash's "I Fought the Law" before moving into that stop-start rhythm that Billie-Joe's perfected over the years.
Even in the most targeted-by-critics song on the record "Kill the DJ", there's a moment in the song that I thought was a nice touch (but most people are right, this song is pretty bad). Despite a very average first single in "Oh Love", tunes like "Rusty James" and "Stay the Night" are undeniable and they're too fun for any GD fan not to enjoy.
So is this a masterpiece like "American Idiot" or "Nimrod"? Nope, but like the last record "21st Century Breakdown", there are a number of excellent songs on here that are pure pop-punk with amazing riffs and fantastic tunes that'll get into your head and heart and make you smile and sing. "Uno" is definitely worth a listen and showcases a band that remains ambitious despite 20+ years in the business. Green Day continue to make fun, entertaining records and put on outstanding live sets - a few weak songs are definitely excusable when balanced out with some wonderful songs that nobody else but Green Day could've written. Welcome back guys, bring on "Dos" and "Tre"!