Green Day recently released its 12th studio album “Revolution Radio,” which was immediately downloaded onto my phone because I couldn’t wait to get my hands—ears?—on it.
Overall, the album is fantastic; anyone who has any slight interest in Green Day should pick this up. It feels like a throwback, but the songs and the subject matter are completely new.
Near the end of the album lies one of the more powerful songs on the record, “Troubled Times.” The song is a bit on the nose, and what it has to say is really important. It’s a slower, more intense song with a heavier bass tone; you can almost feel the weight of the world when listening to this song. It also has an old-timey radio effect in the beginning of the song and during the chorus. The song’s message is clear: we live in a screwed-up world, and the reasons why are out there.
“Bang Bang,” the second song and probably one of the more politically charged songs on the album, starts off with bits taken from reports about the ISIS beheadings and a soft but thumping drum beat, like the distance sound of thunder during a storm. The song is fast, loud and feels like it’s going to explode your ear drums. The singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, said that he wrote the song about the many mass shootings taking place all over the country.
“The fact that it kinda comes with these social media rantings, manifestos… it’s sick,” Armstrong said in an interview with Howard Stern before the album dropped. “It’s sort of like we’re terrorizing ourselves”
The titular song of the album starts out with a higher-pitched, distorted guitar riff. The song then builds off the melody and into this rocking sound reminiscent of “American Idiot.” It almost sounds like it could be an At the Drive-In song. The song preaches the value of truth, and that Armstrong would rather take up arms to help spread truth than sit in ignorance doing nothing.
The first song on the album, “Somewhere Now,” begins with a somber acoustic rift, then transitions into the classic Green Day energetic punk sound. It has these transitions throughout the song causing a mixed feeling of being totally lost and wanting to chuck a TV out a window. If you’ve ever heard “Give me Novacaine,” then you’ll get a nice throwback. What the song says is that the listener may feel lost sometimes, but eventually they will find their way.
One of the more melancholy songs, “Say Goodbye,” carries this really strong beat throughout the song, giving its lyrics that much more of an emotional oomph. The drum beats are heavy and sound almost like war drums: “Say hello to the cops on patrol. Say hello to the cops on patrol. Say hello to the cops on patrol. Say hello to the ones in control.” Just think about that for a minute. This song is bold and not afraid to say what it means; the whole album is the exact same way.
I give Green Day’s “Revolution Radio” four burning radios out five.