Still Breathing: A Review of Green Day’s Revolution Radio
“I get my kicks and I wanna start a rager…” With those words, heard for the first time by a wide audience on August 11th the return of Green Day had begun, not just to music, but also to top form. Revolution Radio is the tenth album of all new material put out by Green Day on Reprise Records and the twelfth album they have released since their career began in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. It boasts 12 new tracks and is notably produced by Green Day themselves, rather than someone from the outside of the band. This shows in the level of detail and focus given to the songs on the record.
While I love Green Day their last effort in 2012 of the ambitious trilogy Uno Dos and Tre was a little bit of a letdown. What had started off as promising quickly sounded over-produced and forced. That’s why it was such a thrill to listen to the new album and hear them drop all of that in favor of pure straightforward rock. The first single “Bang Bang” proves to have been a good showcase of what to expect from the entire album Revolution Radio: loud, fast, and relatively angry. Thematically the song topics sound like they could have come from the era of American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. Focusing on politics and protests, this album sets them back firmly on the solid ground of the content they make well. However, when it comes to the actual sound of the album it finds itself as a mix between old and new Green Day. Certain tracks such as “Say Goodbye” sound like a continuation of American Idiot, while others such as “Youngblood” could conceivably fit in on earlier albums such as Nimrod. The track lengths reflect this, there’s no grand ten minute song to be found, though there is one that clocks in around six minutes. The majority of the tracks come in at fewer than four minutes, and the best songs are the shorter ones such as “Bouncing Off the Wall.”
In my opinion the album starts off a bit slow and ends a bit slow as well, but the songs in the middle are absolutely fantastic. The more I listen the more I fall in love with it, this album feels like classic Green Day to me. While it won’t be vying for the title of “Best Green Day Album,” since that title is rightly fought over between Dookie and American Idiot, it remains a stellar addition to a multiple decade-spanning and hugely impressive catalog. Revolution Radio firmly re-establishes Green Day back in the rock scene, and I for one can’t wait to see where they go from here.
Best Tracks: This was really hard for me to decide on since the more I listen to it the more I love all the tracks from Revolution Radio, but here are my top three.
“Still Breathing” and “Bouncing Off the Wall” (my personal favorite) and “Say Goodbye”
Honorary Mention goes to:
“Too Dumb to Die” and “Youngblood”
“Still Breathing” Lyric Video:
“Revolution Radio” Lyric Video:
“Bang Bang” Video: