Arts, Music, Review

Green Day Dilutes Signature Sound on ‘Father of All…’

Father of All…, Green Day’s newest studio album, wastes no time getting started with the album’s title track. Fast-paced and energetic, the song makes you want to get up and dance. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong brings a unique falsetto to the track, which is a bit off-putting, but drummer Tre Cool and bassist Mike Dirnt are fantastic. Despite being a bit too poppy, the bassline and drums in “Father of All” impress.

Next up is “Fire, Ready, Aim,” another pop-leaning song. The vocals are lackluster, and the only unique element of the song is the barely audible piano lingering behind the rest of the instrumentals. 

“Oh Yeah!” picks up some of the slack left by “Fire, Ready, Aim.” It doesn’t fit the mold of a typical Green Day song, utilizing a unique structure and call-and-response vocals. 

Mike Dirnt’s signature bass sound is on full display for the beginning of “I Was a Teenage Teenager,” another song uncharacteristic of Green Day, but one that hits the mark. The song sounds more like anthem rock than pop, best played during the summer in the car with the windows down and best sung at the top of your lungs with a touch of rebellious spirit. 

A Green Day album wouldn’t be complete without a burst of cathartic anger. Fans will delight in the familiar punch of “Stab You in the Heart,” but the band’s artistic evolution is clear in subtle details. Rockabilly influences and harmonized vocals elevate the song from a typical pop punk throwback to something much more interesting.

The cinematic “Junkies on a High” might be the best song on the album. It’s begging to be used in a dramatic montage, perhaps one depicting a hero on his way to get revenge. The sound, atmosphere, and lyrics all represent Green Day at its very best.

Static and a jazz guitar segue into “Take the Money and Crawl,” which is likely a play on the famous Steve Miller Band song “Take the Money and Run.” Green Day’s would-be homage doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the latter, though, a disappointing let-down. 

Long-time fans will find it difficult to admit that the band that provided the soundtrack to their teenage years may have lost its magic. Despite consisting of 10 songs, Father of All… only runs 26 minutes, with many songs sounding oddly short or hastily written. Moments such as “Junkies on a High” bring a glimmer of the band’s former glory, but they’re few and far between on an album that only serves to remind listeners how far Green Day has fallen since its pop punk glory days.

Featured Image Courtesy of Reprise Records

February 12, 2020

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