As many fans are aware, ¡Uno! leaked early yesterday (September 17, 2012) exactly one week prior to it's release. I was in class when we started getting emails, then work till 8pm, and I was running on 3 hours of sleep from the night before, so I came home and slept and it wasn't until around midnight I was finally able to lay in bed and listen to the music. Over the course of it's 40 minute run-time, I laid there in complete appreciation for what I was hearing.
To start off, I'd like to write about what this album isn't. This isn't rock stadium Green Day. This isn't Green Day bordering the giant arena rock sounds of U2 which I felt they started going down the path of with American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. This is simple Green Day. This is Green Day just letting loose and writing some catchy fucking music.
The music isn't overtly complicated, it's not heavily layered (though we can expect that stuff on ¡Tre!), and the lyrics don't have sociopolitical meaning.
It's personal and it's fucking perfect.
This is exactly the album I wanted Green Day to release. When they first talked about the trilogy they said it was "going back to their roots" which got a lot fans of excited, and maybe a little worried. Were they trying to re-live yesteryear when Dookie came out? After listening to this album the answer is absolutely not. This album feels inspired more by 1990 Green Day than 1994 Green Day, and definitely more distant from the Green Day we recognize from the last decade.
The lyrics are straightforward and they speak directly to experiences that Billie Joe has had. It's a very welcome change from the story-line concept. Billie Joe told Guitar World that not having characters or a story-line really felt freeing, they were able to focus on each song individually, making it how they wanted, and not worrying how it fit into the bigger picture.
I loved both American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, and I know I'm in the minority in thinking 21st Century Breakdown was a better album musically. Lyrically both albums are deep, they both seemed to take that new-found depth from Warning and go further with it, applying it to a modern story and current events. ¡Uno! lyrics are more focused on the simple human experience, and that's the Green Day that hooks me in.
I think the first half of the album is stronger than the second half, just more bum thrust ©. But I'm not disappointed in any of these songs, besides Oh Love. In context with the album, it's an alright tune. Why it was the first single I'll never know. It's not the least bit representative of the upbeat sound the rest of the album posseses.
I have a lot more thoughts, especially about some of the comments I've read in reaction to the music, but I'm going to stop here. I'll probably dedicate a whole other post for that. I need to listen to the songs again before really talking about my favorites or anything like that.
We'll be releasing a special edition of the Static Noise podcast on Thursday with all our thoughts on the album. I'll come back and write another post after that so I can let the music sink into my veins a little bit more.
Single line reaction: I fucking love it.