Green Day, UNO

Green Day was the punk band that surprised everyone with their political album American Idiot.  Several albums later they return to their punk roots with ¡UNO!

¡UNO! (the first in a four-part album plan) takes a stripped-down approach to music, blasting out songs of anger and speed one after another.  Romance is reduced to one-night stands ("I got an impulse/so repulsive that it burns/ I wanna break your heart/until it makes your stomach turn"), music criticism becomes a call to "someone kill the DJ/shoot the fucking DJ" and high-school nostalgia becomes "I'd rather go to the funeral/ than to this high school reunion."  The songs are mostly three-chord rapid-fire attacks, only slowing slightly for the album's closer "Oh Love."

While ¡UNO! isn't cohesive as an album -- you could shuffle all the songs and it would sound the same -- the songs do showcase the strength of Green Day as a band.  The songs deliver the punk attitude and energy of teenagers just starting out, but with the skill and timing Green Day have developed over the years.  There's no more commentary here than you'd expect from angry young teens, but the songs still kick ass.

Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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