Overall Score: 7.5/10 Lyrics: 8/10 Consistency: 8/10 Music: 7/10 Pros: The most consistent album they have made in the last decade. Cons: Not quite the return to form many hoped for.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have not always had the best relationship with Green Day. As a teenager I loved the band’s ’90s output, but from the year 2000 onwards I’ve been somewhat cold to what they have been doing. Outside of ‘American Idiot’, nothing has really interested me.
I infamously compared the band’s ‘Dos!’ album to a rotting horse corpse being eaten by zombies. Suffice to say, I approach each new Green Day album with a somewhat tepid approach, as the band can produce quality singles that ultimately then lead to lacklustre albums. ‘Revolution Radio’ was a pleasant surprise to me. Lead Single ‘Bang Bang’ and the title track were both released well in advance of the album’s release and found themselves on constant rotation on my iPod, but we still weren’t out of the woods yet.
It’s easy to forget that this is no longer the band that released those earlier albums. They are older, in some cases wiser and their lives, priorities and the things they write about have changed. While this may not be the return to form that some were craving, there are a lot of good things to be found on ‘Revolution Radio’. As an album that isn’t beholden to a theme or a story it’s more open, more personal and feels more from the heart. It also proves a lot less scatter-shot and juvenile than the preceding trilogy.
I would argue that in many ways this feels the most like an old school Green Day album, even if just in sentiment alone. This is the band playing and writing music that is personal to them, not using characters and themes as a proxy. You can argue that a little of their bite is gone, but this is still an album full of spirit that reaches out to you and demands the time it requires.
Having listened through countless times, this is not only Green Day’s best album since ‘American Idiot’, but also the first Green Day album that I have truly given a shit about outside of the aforementioned. If you are prepared to take everything into account leading into this album’s release and give it the time of day with open ears and an open mind, you may find that it might just surprise you – I know it surprised me.
‘Revolution Radio’ is out now via Reprise Records.