Last weekend, I took a day trip and during the drive to and from I decided to listen to the Green Day albums in order uninterrupted (save for the event I went to). This was significant for me in many ways. In truth, I have a terrible habit of not listening to anything as an album anymore. After importing all of my CDs to my ipod years back, I seemed to have it on permanent shuffle. Maybe it's just that I'm never going anywhere long enough for an album listen. Anyhow, I really wanted to go on this chronological GD journey and it certainly was enlightening:
1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
- If any album takes a "least favorite" place, it is this one. It felt, in essence, like 19 of the exact same song and I quickly became impatient with it. Now, in theory, I suppose it's hard to judge it like that because although we view this as an album now, it was originally what, three albums? And were only combined after the fact.
- Annoyances aside, listening to this is so funny purely for how drastically Billie's voice has changed. With this and Kerplunk, sometimes you feel like you're listening to another band entirely.
- I expected to feel the same about this one as the first, but I liked it more than I realized.
- I previously would have said that Words I Might Have Ate was my favorite off of this, but I think with this listen Christie Road took that spot very easily.
- I've always had a hard time picking a "favorite album" and I still do. Given their style shifts over 20 years, it's hard to get comparative. But I think if my answer was this album, I would feel confident and satisfied with that.
- Even more difficult is picking a true #1 song. Right now I'm giving it to When I Come Around.
- I used to think some of my least favorite songs were on this album, but I'm not sure that's the case anymore. Of the early albums, this is an easy 2nd placer.
- Holy crap, this one was a shocker for me. I really did not enjoy listening to most of this album and it fell very low on my overall rankings very quickly.
- You can definitely tell it's a sign of style shifts. You've got songs that seem typical and fitting with the previous 2 (Hitchin' A Ride, Nice Guys Finish Last) and then you get the outliers (King For A Day, Walking Alone is indicative of their next steps). I appreciate the experimentation, but I have to say that there are just so many songs on this album that are forgettable to me.
- This one did the opposite of Nimrod for me- songs that I thought were forgettable and uninteresting were much more enjoyable for me this time. The catchiness of the songs is strong in each and that's something I tend to be shamelessly drawn to in music overall.
- I should note here that I followed this up with the three IS songs, and Shenanigans before I moved on to AI.
- I expected to have this album be revitalized by listening to it again. Alas, it did not escape its reputation and, ironically, it fell on my list. We cannot argue that this album was a success, was well done, was/is iconic- to some degree or another. But I found myself listening to this album and being uninspired by 90% of it. I think it's fallen victim to being overplayed for me. JOS will always reign for me emotionally. It seemed to be immune. But Holiday is a good example of a song that gives me no excitement anymore. Each song is radio hit after radio hit and it's completely lost its power for me. JOS, Whatsername and Homecoming remain some of my favorite GD songs ever, but the rest of it, not so much.
21st Century Breakdown
- It will be blasphemous to say, but I enjoyed listening to this more than AI. Part of it is probably the era itself, but even those first few songs are just invigorating.
- I can absolutely admit that its biggest flaw is its length. There's a whole section that I probably could have easily done without. And 21 Guns will remain one of my least favorites of all time...but overall, I quite love this album and I feel that I'm in the minority there. Oh well.
Uno, Dos, Tre
- I should first note that my drive stopped in the middle of Uno and I ended up listening to the rest after the fact so they didn't get the same "in a row" treatment as the rest.
- My opinion remains largely the same with these and in truth I don't think they're worthless. They are good songs. I think when most of us are criticizing them, we're really subconsciously disgruntled with the era and the situation itself. It was a dark time. The songs will probably always have to carry some sort of baggage that way. But there are gems. X-Kid is easily my second favorite song of all time if we're going to continue to give When I Come Around the top spot.
- One thing that is completely successful here is the thematic structure of the three albums. The lighthearted start of the party, the out of control middle, the hangover redemption. They seem to perfectly represent that.
- I like this thing more every time I listen to it. I think it ranks pretty high up there for me. Another blasphemous statement, I suppose.
- I would note that this is purely a representation of the order of which I personally enjoy them as opposed to a true analysis of which albums are better than others musically, commercially, etc.
- 21st Century Breakdown
- Revolution Radio
- American Idiot
- 1039 SOSH
And who knows...this could easily change in another 5-10 years when I realize I need to listen to everything again. Although, hopefully, there will be a lot more albums to add by then so it may be more difficult.