With the release of a new album there's lots of conversation about what Green Day's music should sound like. I've seen such a huge array of comments on the pro and con side about the new music. While I think the overwhelming opinion of the music is very positive, there has still been some criticism of it (as expected), and I felt like addressing some of the topics.
It's too simplistic
Since Green Day's breakthrough in 1994 some people have written them off as a "three chord band". While anyone with an ounce of common sense knows Green Day is much more than that, it's obvious that simple three chord songs is where they found their early inspiration. American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown really showed their musical ability. I really doubt most of those who criticize Green Day's style could sit down and write not one, but two nine minute rock operas. That shit isn't easy. Not only it is an awesome arrangement of music, but it fits within a story spread across a whole album. Music ability is more than just how quickly you scale down the neck of a guitar.
In íUno! the band definitely departs from that and the lyrics and music are direct and missing the grandiosity of the last two albums, and that's alright with me. The beauty I find in Green Day's music is that they're capable of doing both. They're capable of writing a nine minute rock opera and 3 minute song about having sex.
It's not punk
This argument is so overplayed that I'm only going to give a very brief point. Punk is more than just a quick loud song with a repetitive drum beat. Punk is where Green Day found their souls, and so long as they write the music, it's punk. It's Green Day punk. Any purists out there will disagree, and that's fine with me. I don't care about your definition of punk, and you don't have to care about mine. Let's be friends anyways.
There's nothing new in this music
First off, have you listened to Kill The DJ? If that's not a new sound for Green Day I don't know what possibly could be. I've never heard two Green Day albums that I felt were identical musically. The closest were 1039/Smooth and Kerplunk, along with American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. But each album had a different sound, slightly matured. You can tell with every release that Green Day challenges themselves to push it a little more. Yes, I agree that ¡Uno! has nothing groundbreaking in it - but I don't know how that's a criticism. The point of music isn't to change for the sake of change. With Green Day it's always been an organic change, and this time they felt like going to back to a similar style in their earliest albums. If they're able to do that while writing catchy songs that they appreciate, that tell the story they feel like sharing, then it's exactly what it needs to be.
It's not "Green Day"
I think one problem people have with Green Day is that because of the array of musical style they play, people assign a certain standard to them and really appreciate them for a specific one. Someone who liked Kerplunk may not have liked Nimrod. Someone who liked Dookie may not have liked American Idiot. Someone who liked 21CB may not like ¡Uno!. I think it's actually kind of awesome that people find a certain type of Green Day music they like and it sticks with them, something they retain fond memories of, something that they look back on with nostalgia. There are some of us who appreciate it all, but I don't believe in the "true fan" description. If you like one of Green Day's albums and not the rest, I think that makes you just as much of a fan as me. You're not required to love everything a band does (or anyone for that matter) in order to appreciate what they do. Dookie still exists, nimrod. still exists, American Idiot still exists. All of these came from the same guys. They write it, so it's "Green Day" whether you like it or not.
I don't mind if people don't care much for ¡Uno!. At the end of the day, these albums weren't written for any one of us. We can appreciate them for what they are, or we don't have to. I love the music, others won't, and the world will continue to spin. Some people want an album filled with songs like F.O.D., others want something filled with 21 Guns -- as I mentioned at the start, the beauty of Green Day is that they're capable of doing both. Take what you like and enjoy it, forget the rest.