Fans of Green Day have long awaited a new album. The band’s last critical success was in 2009 with the debut of their album “21st Century Breakdown.” After such a solid album, the Green Day trilogy albums of 2012 did not reach the success of their past two (including the legendary “American Idiot” in 2005). Suddenly the band was faced with many personal struggles. After a hiatus and scoring a place in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, the band came back with their new album, “Revolution Radio.”
The only appropriate way to review this album is to go through song by song, so let’s see what Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool have to offer this time around.
- Somewhere Now
The album has a calm opening that drops into the familiar power chords about a minute in with hints of bands such as Boston and Guns N’ Roses, but still managing to have the familiarity of past Green Day albums. It really sets the tone for the rest of the album with its meaningful, personal lyrics and mix of light and heavier moments. The words heading the album, “I’m heading late to somewhere now, I don’t want to be” are guaranteed to be as memorable as “Don’t want to be an American idiot.”
2. Bang Bang
Armstrong enters the head of a mass shooter in this highly political, in-your-face single. It’s highly relevant, capturing how modern society can incubate certain behaviors through the idea of, now easily obtainable, mass media fame.
3. Revolution Radio
The title song of the album seems to be a declaration by the band saying, “Guess what. We’re back. And we have something to say.” The lyrics focusing on general themes found throughout the rest of the album paired with the hard-hitting sound of the backing track make this song a new punk rock anthem. It makes sense as the title song of the album.
4. Say Goodbye
“Say Goodbye” has amazing percussion and a chanting chorus that will get stuck in your head without a doubt. This was my first moment in the album in which felt like I was listening to the newest evolution of rock. As with every song on this list, the lyrics are amazing. Billie calls out cops who misuse their power and the dangers to children in a clear connection the Black Lives Matter movement.
This is the first highly personal song on the album. You catch hints of the band looking back on their past work in a nostalgic, powerful rock ballad. Anyone who was once an outsider or “outlaw” in their life will be taken on a journey with the band. Green Day has evolved so much and matured over the years.
6. Bouncing Off the Wall
Simply, this song feels like a mid-album intermission from the rest of the songs. It’s fun, energetic, on the short side and that’s most of what I’d have to say about it. Anyone who just likes a simplistic rock song will enjoy it.
7. Still Breathing
This is a song about the condition of many people in the modern day. It starts off soft until dropping into a belt-filled chorus. You can sense that in these many scenes Armstrong describes throughout the song, he had his own experiences dealing with addiction and dealing with sickness in those close to him in mind. This results in another personal and powerful song.
Reminiscent of “She’s A Rebel” and other 2000s-era Green Day love songs, “Youngblood” is a relatively short and enjoyable song. The lyrics are lighter and filled with memorable moments. This definitely classifies as the type of song I can imagine singing along with while rocking out in the car with friends.
9. Too Dumb To Die
Much like “Youngblood,” I see myself singing this with friends as it reminds us of past Green Day styles, most specifically their album titled “Nimrod” (1997), but in the best way possible.
10. Trouble Times
“What good is love and peace on earth if it’s exclusive.” This a perfect opening lyric to get across the band’s message. This goes into the same full sound and political lyrics as “Say Goodbye” and “Bang Bang.” It really helps nail down the theme of the album before the final two songs.
11. Forever Now
This is appropriately named similar to the first song of the album, “Somewhere Now.” It goes longer and clocks in at seven minutes. It’s complete with a reprise from the album’s opening and feels like the final act in a rock opera, although the album in its entirety is not specifically a concept album.
12. Ordinary World
This is a simplistic, memorable, acoustic ballad that Armstrong likely wrote for his wife. It’s very sweet and light compared to the rest of the album’s heavier topics such as mass shooting and addiction, almost as if it’s the light at the end of the tunnel. This song serves as a great period at the end of the story of this album.