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Dookie: it's good.,
This review is from: Dookie (Audio CD)
It's the first time I've revisited this album for a while. I don't really think of myself as a Green Day fan anymore, but this was the first record of theirs that I heard. I then bought them all up to, and including Warning (which I thought was terrible). I won't be buying American Idiot.
So I just thought I'd peruse the reviews while listening to it; there's a lot of talk of punk, but I don't see anyone mentioning The Clash anywhere... or any of Green Day's predecessors. That really shows the generation that Green Day appealed to. I'm pretty sure I was 16 or 17 when this came out, and it became standard listening for myself and all my friends. I started my first band, and we would cover Basket Case and Welcome to Paradise. So it was pretty important.
Listening to Dookie now is a fairly refreshing experience. It brings those 6th form days right back to me, but it doesn't leave me feeling like I can't enjoy it anymore. It's still a breathless, relentless and pulsating album. I don't think there's a real weak track on it. Sure, it's pretty much the same idea from start to finish, but that's what punk is like, by and large. And this album has lots of endearing subtle moments. Billie Joe makes tunes by slightly slurring his words so that you often don't know what he's singing, but do know that you like the sound of it. Mike's bass jumps and bounces all over the place, giving your brain a little bit of variation to focus on, and Tre's drumming is insistent and inventive. Then you've got some well considered backing vocals at critical times - see "She" for the best example - and some amusing stories.
Essentially you've got all the elements that make up a Green Day album, but here they are more honed than on earlier records, and less tainted by commerciality than later ones.
So where does it fit? For me, the best Green Day album is Nimrod. That one has more variety, and some awesome tunes. Dookie is probably second best, Insomniac third (that one is pretty much identical to Dookie, but without the hits), after that I can't really choose between the 1039 and Kerplunk... I just know that Warning is the worst.
So, Dookie: it's good.