Green Day: Warning
Review By: Joe

Green Day were long ago shunned by the punk community for being supposed 'sellouts' even though their music didn't change, they just went to a major label. I think 'sellout' is a word that happens to get thrown around all too casually these days but I digress. Since Green Day isn't really considered punk any longer and hasn't been for quite some time now, they weren't really in any danger of getting backlash for reinventing themselves with this album (plus, I doubt they really give a shit what anybody thinks). Warning differs a bit from Green Day's previous work in that it's a bit more subdued. I have heard of people expressing discontent with this. I heard one person inquire "Why didn't they just make an acoustic album?". Well, that's kind of what this is actually.

The album has a bit more of a 'folk' (that's the best term I can think of) feel to it. Distortion isn't used to any great extent and the chord progressions are a lot gentler for the most part. Oddly enough, I don't really miss the harshness (well, Green Day's never been exactly harsh) of the band's previous work. The reason is, this album is done so damn well. It's just got a great, upbeat feel to it. The lyrics still preach all that crazy stuff like individuality and rebellion (actually, in a more clear-cut manner than they used to) but they're done to music that makes you wanna get happy. No, seriously. Pull this sucker out when you're in a bad mood. You'll be bobbing your head like a stupid bitch in no time! Just like a stupid bitch!

I mentioned that the lyrics are more clear-cut on this album and they are. There are a lot of songs about standard punk stuff like preaching individuality and complaining about being controlled and it's quite clear what Billie Joe is saying when he says it in songs like Minority, Warning, and Blood, Sex and Booze (which is actually about S&M just because). It wasn't always quite as clear on the previous albums and I actually like this style quite a bit (I'm not big on metaphors). It's done well because while there are some songs like this, they're also interspersed with other songs that still have that "I can write lyrics that must be good because you can't completely understand them" fashion to them which is still nifty.

As for the upbeat music I mentioned, it's all real catchy. That's about all I can say. Green Day has always had relatively simple chord progressions (they are supposed to be punk after all) that manage to sound good and catchy and this album is no exception.

There aren't too many drawbacks to this album really. Of course some songs are a bit stronger than others (Waiting, Minority, Warning and Blood, Sex and Booze are some that really stand out) but overall all the songs have merit and I don't mind listening through the entire album repeatedly without skipping tracks at all. Green Day's always had their own style of punk but the fact that this album sounds a bit different than any of their previous installments actually makes it stand out even more from other bands and gives them more of a style of their own. Some songs (Castaway, Deadbeat Holiday, and Jackass) actually sound like pretty standard Green Day fare (except maybe without the distortion) which should appease those people who fear change. The other songs rock in a slightly different manner but definitely rock all the same. Also, I really like Misery. It's cool. You have to listen to it to see why I mentioned it separately from the rest of the album.

Overall, I'd recommend this album for anyone. The best thing I can say about it is that it's easily become my current favorite album (and Waiting has become my current favorite song). It's hardly offensive (he says 'fuck' roughly twice on the whole thing and that's it) and it's definitely friendly punk. It has a somewhat speedy tempo but nowhere near a ludicrously fast one and it's upbeat and quite the pleasure to listen to. It clocks in at a perfectly acceptable 41 minutes which is long enough without getting tiresome. Go ahead and get this album. It's good and your parents will like it too (which is a little ass backwards for punk but oh well!). I'd say the only people who wouldn't like this are people who just aren't into rock, people who have never been fond of Billie Joe's nasally voice, or people who listen to Radiohead and think they're too good for simple, catchy, semi-punk tunes like this. But those people eat farts whole so we don't really give a shit about them do we? No. We don't.


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