By Mackenzie Dineen – Co-Arts Editor
Green Day’s first full-length album since 2012, “Revolution Radio,” was released on October 7. The album oscillates between loud and infectious punk-inspired anthems and captivating ballads.
“Revolution Radio” begins on a sentimental note. “Somewhere Now” is introduced in the acoustic style of the band’s iconic heartfelt songs and is interrupted by an energetic electricity, complete with booming guitar and notable bass. The song is a testament to the band’s disappointment with the modern social and political climate, as well as their personal growth.
“Bang Bang,” the album’s first single, is the most similar song, both stylistically and lyrically, to the band’s 2004 hit “American Idiot” punk-rock opera, which is arguably their most popular work. The single also explores what it means to be a famous entertainer, and features excellently placed background vocals.
The album’s namesake, “Revolution Radio” is a more radio-friendly tune with its catchy chorus. It protests the way of life in America, from the “anti-social media” to police brutality and riots. It demands that America “legalize the truth.”
The stirring introduction and prechorus makes “Say Goodbye” unforgettable, although its verses offer little variation in melody. “Outlaws” is a bittersweet account of youth. The direct lyrical reference to “American Idiot” with the line “we destroyed suburbia when we were outlaws” makes the song all the more painful. The loss of love and “life after youth” are lamented through the smooth bass and piano combination. “Bouncing Off the Walls” is possibly the most forget- table track of the album. It blends with the upbeat, danceable sound of the rest of the compilation, but does not have any unique traits.
A tale of survival and perseverance is presented in “Still Breathing” which show- cases Armstrong’s acrobatic voice. The anthem is written based upon Armstrong’s own experiences, but remains relatable and inspirational.
“Forever Now” is the descendent of “Somewhere Now,” and at almost seven minutes it is both the longest and most conscious song. It consists of several parts, much like “Jesus of Suburbia” from “Amer can Idiot,” although it is much less dramatic. “Somewhere Now” expresses sorrow about Armstrong’s lifestyle, “How did a life on the wild side, ever get so dull?” While “Forever Now” expresses content.
“Ordinary World” is placed rather poorly after “Forever Now,” unless the purpose of the album was to ground listeners after an exhilarating anarchic experience. The song is beautiful and pacific as an individual work, but does not add to the quality of the album.
The fast-paced nature of the album is restored in “Youngblood.” The track has an unfortunately simple chorus but cheeky and clever verses that balance the simplicity of the chorus favorably. “Troubled Times” has a mysterious minorkey chorus and discouragingly apocalyptic lyrics. The song questions the validity of “love and peace on Earth, when it’s exclusive,” referring to human behaviors such as discrimination and persecution.