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Criticism towards Green Day's music


Fuzz

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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.

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Keep writing Andres! :D What I feel about Uno! is that they did it with almost no pressure (as a difference with the last 2 albums). It was just them writing music y' know. I LOVE IT! :)

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Hero_Of_The_Hour

Posted

Nicely put Andres! At this point i feel many people feel the need to criticize Green Day regardless of what they release because it is what is expected of people. It's so annoying. Obviously everyone will have differing opinions on music but while critics in mags or online are paid to find fault with new music it feels more and more as though fans just want to do the same. To me ¡Uno! combines some of the best elements of the guys early style and sound (which so many fans complained was missing since Dookie) with Billie's obvious growth as both a vocalist and songwriter. As you stated Andres Kill The DJ us an obvious departure from all things familiar and ¡Dos! promises more experimentation while ¡Tre! should please the American Idiot/21st Century Breakdown diehards (from what we have heard). So basically this is the one time in the history of Green Day when everyone should be happy!! Again, nice blog Andres ; )

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localinsomniac

Posted

Well done, sir. It's an age-old argument that people love to have. But the key is that all these songs came from the hearts and minds of the same three men, as you said. As they matured, so did the music. That's what makes it so beautiful; that's what makes it Green Day music.

People have been telling me "Green Day sucks" since I was in fifth grade. Those people aren't right or wrong- that's just how they feel. And that's great for them. Don't like or appreciate the band if you don't want to. It just means more Green Day for the rest of us.

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I really liked the "it's too simplistic" part in particular. Also I'd add that not only they wrote two nine minutes rock operas, but that they wrote it using only some power chords. I'd challenge anyone of who criticizes them to do something better with only these chords.

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Drop Dead Hideous

Posted

"they found their early inpiration."

typo I guess but that aside it's very good. Andres has talent for writing reviews and stuff. Such a great piece.

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Trotsky

Posted

Andres, there is no reason to justify Green Day as punk. Music doesn't have to be punk to be good. There is no reason that admitting something does not fit with a genre anymore somehow is the same thing as saying it's not good.

Green Day did the pop-punk sound in the Dookie era, that's what Dookie was, it was pop-punk and it was a damn good addition to the genre. Then Insomaniac took a grittier approach and Nimrod was more experimental and you know all this anyway... Warning through 21CB saw a completely different style, mixing alternative rock with epic ballads and things like that, and Uno shifts the style again.

Uno has pop-punk songs, like Let Yourself Go and Loss of Control. My personal opinion is that they don't quite work as well as the Dookie songs did, that aside though, the album is more alt rock than pop punk and that's totally okay.

I actually like the slower paced songs better - Fell For You, Rusty James, Carpe Diem. Those three are where I feel the album really excels because they have a powerful sound to them. Or maybe it is just I preferred the AI-21 era. I think Carpe Diem would have fit well on 21CB, or even as an extension of the titular song into some rock opera like JoS or Homecoming. Rusty James could have seamlessly been on AI and would have fit perfectly.

Uno is a decent album. I just hope the next two don't continue with this trend of trying to reinvent Dookie in half the songs. These aren't bad songs, but they aren't going to live up to that album which was a pop-punk classic from start to finish.

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joeysturkeyhead

Posted

Andres, there is no reason to justify Green Day as punk. Music doesn't have to be punk to be good. There is no reason that admitting something does not fit with a genre anymore somehow is the same thing as saying it's not good.

Green Day did the pop-punk sound in the Dookie era, that's what Dookie was, it was pop-punk and it was a damn good addition to the genre. Then Insomaniac took a grittier approach and Nimrod was more experimental and you know all this anyway... Warning through 21CB saw a completely different style, mixing alternative rock with epic ballads and things like that, and Uno shifts the style again.

Uno has pop-punk songs, like Let Yourself Go and Loss of Control. My personal opinion is that they don't quite work as well as the Dookie songs did, that aside though, the album is more alt rock than pop punk and that's totally okay.

I actually like the slower paced songs better - Fell For You, Rusty James, Carpe Diem. Those three are where I feel the album really excels because they have a powerful sound to them. Or maybe it is just I preferred the AI-21 era. I think Carpe Diem would have fit well on 21CB, or even as an extension of the titular song into some rock opera like JoS or Homecoming. Rusty James could have seamlessly been on AI and would have fit perfectly.

Uno is a decent album. I just hope the next two don't continue with this trend of trying to reinvent Dookie in half the songs. These aren't bad songs, but they aren't going to live up to that album which was a pop-punk classic from start to finish.

Well, some of Green Day's songs are more leaning towards punk, some towards rock and some are really poppy. The thing is, trying to put Green Day in the whole in a certain genre is hard cause they don't try too be one certain genre all the time. But, they have punk influences and you can hear it. It may not be Sex Pistols anarchy punk which Johnny Rotten defines as "real punk", it's never been. I'm not saying Green Day is a punk band, I'm saying that they are a punk/punkrock/pop-punk/rock/pop band.

Who cares if some of their songs sounds like Dookie?! A question to you, do you still atleast enjoy these songs which sounds like Dookie? If you do, then why would it matter? You're over analysing. Some people say they're living in the past cause some songs sounds like dookie, also it's wrong to say that they sound like dookie as dookie is dookie, Uno is Uno and so on. It may sound like it but Green Day is not trying to reinvent dookie and they never will.

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Couldn't have said it any better! This is why Green Day is such a huge inspiration to me. They can do anything. They're the reason I picked up guitar and they're the reason why I've gotten into so many other bands and more importantly, rock music. They'll always be a part of me as long as I live.

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Jessicabasketcase

Posted

SHIT YES! You have conveyed my thoughts and opinions into a paragraph. Glad you've said this, someone needed to. Fuck what people say iUno! is brilliant.

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TheGrouch33

Posted

"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"

Cant agree more!

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