Matthew Field| Before we go any further, I just need to throw this out there: I am a massive Green Day fan. I own every album in some form, I have all their concerts on CD and I even own the 3-Vinyl special edition of 21st Century Breakdown. Seriously, I make bronies look rational. So when I got my hands on their new album, Uno, I was understandably excited.
After listening to it, however, my feelings were… mixed. To be fair, Uno was in a difficult position to begin with. It was Green Day’s follow-up album to two of their most successful and critically-acclaimed works, the classic punk-rock masterpiece American Idiot and the equally brilliant 21st Century Breakdown. Expecting Uno to be on the same level as those two albums was never going to end well.
Even taking that into consideration, Uno is a massive disappointment. Uno is Green Day’s attempt to go back to basics, back to the old-school punk that made them famous in the beginning. This means no more political commentary or story lines. Rather, Green Day has tried to channel their earlier work, specifically, their 1994 hit-album Dookie. This isn’t a bad thing in itself. While Breakdown was a great album, by the time it came out it was clear that Green Day was riding the political horse a bit far and seeing them go back to their roots is a fantastic concept.
Unfortunately, the result is a terribly uneven album that, coming from a band of Green Day’s stature, is completely unexpected. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great songs on this album. Let Yourself Go is a perfect tribute to Green Day’s early hard-hitting punk sound pre-Idiot, Nuclear Family is a fun and fast rock track that’s great to listen to and Carpe Diem – my personal favorite – is just awesome.
However the album starts to fall apart around the fifth track. The change in song quality is actually noticeable. The rest of the album is made up of mediocre fillers like Fell For You, broken messes like Loss of Control and – worst of all – Troublemaker (trust me, you don’t want to know). Green Day have proved that they are more than capable of producing top-quality music and of doing so consistently, which makes this all the more disappointing.
Uno is a poor attempt from a band that has proved itself to be capable of so much more. At the end of the day, I give it three out of five. My advice is look for the singles rather than buying the whole album.