Album: "Revolution Radio"
Release date: Oct. 7
Label: Reprise Records
Pros: Strong instrumental, evokes emotions
Cons: Repetitive sounds, cliché theme of despair
Superstitious and flooded with a fear of life’s frailty, Green Day reiterates their punk-rock roots with the pessimistic — albeit catchy — new album "Revolution Radio."
The typical angst-driven mentality of the Green Day trio proceeds yet again to saturate both the lyrics and tone of their new album with painstaking misery. Persisting with the somewhat masochistic theme that Green Day is known for, many of their tracks allude to suicide with melancholy lyrics about death and intense, dark electric guitar choruses. Of course, Green Day doesn't forget to include at least one f-bomb to accentuate their rebellious attitude.
In the track "Outlaws," a memorable line at the end of the song is “I found a knife by the railroad track.” The lyric “I’m like a junkie tying off for the last time” from "Still Breathing" also sheds some light on the dark tone of this album.
However, the intense instrumental jams during the chorus of several tracks are contrasted by calm vocals at the beginning of the songs. This contrast fades, getting progressively more intense and dark, perhaps alluding to how life can take a dark turn even after experiencing a good moment.
Vice versa, Green Day places upbeat songs with darker lyrics. The band employs irony in many of their songs by tying together lyrics about death and depravity with soft vocals and upbeat instrumentals. Songs like the nearly seven minute long "Forever Now" actually keep a catchy, upbeat sound while singing about the worthlessness and pain of life.
The entirety of "Revolution Radio" is reminiscent of a troubled young boy calling out for help from a life that he has named a pit of despair. While voicing feelings of pain, suffering and pessimism is acceptable, Green Day has done this with every album they’ve released since their conception. To those who aren’t ardent followers of the band, their sob songs are disturbing, yet getting a bit redundant.
True to the name of the album, Green Day champions the idea of starting a “revolution” with the band’s lyrics. The listener may question what this revolution is for and against. To this question there is no certain answer, but perhaps the revolt is against being happy with life and more about dwelling in the fear of a meaningless life.
Although the band keeps a characteristic tone of callousness, at least the new album seems to convey an older, somewhat wiser perspective that encompasses all of life’s darkness instead of just current tribulations, as some of their other albums seem to do.
Another slight transition in this album concerns the sound that the band seems to play around with. Many of the harsh instrumental sessions that characterize Green Day’s punk-rock feel waver between hard metal and rock genres in this album, keeping listeners on edge.
Overall, the album seems to be pieced together to convey a scene of the band standing at the brink of a grave pit at a funeral, staring back at life and wondering what it all meant. Harsh hard rock instrumentals seem to channel an audible despair and discontent, accentuating a sad insight into life. If you're looking for a musical pick-me-up, don't pick this inconsistent, confusing album.