Arts, Music

Single Reviews: Green Day, The Kid LAROI and Alec Benjamin

“The American Dream Is Killing Me” — Green Day 

Green Day expresses its discontent with the modern world on its new single “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” released on Oct. 24. The single foreshadows that themes of failed dreams and disappointed expectations of society as a whole could be the pillars to the band’s new album Saviors, releasing Jan. 19. 

The band, currently a trio composed of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool, was formed in 1987 and has been releasing songs ever since. With time, its songs have evolved—both thematically and within genres—but without losing their ’90s-song character. 

In an already-high and still-ascending key, the pre-chorus evokes the urge to belt along with Armstrong and the backing vocals.  

“We are not home / Are we not home? / Goddamn, I am so grateful / Forever faithful to,” Green Day sings in the pre-chorus. 

The bridge poses an unforeseen rupture to the loud character of the song with a slow and melancholic tune. In the background, lead and supporting vocals sing about some of America’s social issues.

“People on the street / Unemployed and obsolete / Did you ever learn to read the ransom note,” Armstrong sings . 

When talking about the electronic-dependent people of the 21st century, the punk-rock group refers to “Tiktok and taxes,” which can be viewed as a play on the words from the saying “death and taxes”—the two things humans can’t escape.

The remarks against the so-called “American Dream” grow more critical as the song progresses. Putting all euphemisms aside, the last version of the pre-chorus uses charged words such as “dead” and “suicide” as a final attempt to get the listener’s attention. 

“We are not home / Are we not home? / Kiss me, I’m dead inside / Who needs suicide when [The American Dream is killin’ me],” Armstrong belts as the song comes to a close.


Australian musician The Kid LAROI released a new single, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED,” on Oct. 27. The song is the sixth track of his debut studio album, THE FIRST TIME, out on Nov. 10. The track sounds like a teenage 2000s hit as it is introduced by guitar and vocals. 

The single dives into the messy boundaries that define the difference between a relationship and a friendship. It deals with the question: What is considered cheating and what is not? The lyrics explore the temptation and the constant do-I-want-you-or-not feelings between two people.

“I don’t know if we just crossed the line / ’Cause I don’t even know what just happened,” the 20-year-old sings. “Friends with my girl but you wanna fuck / What’s your excuse? I’ma blame the drugs.”

At some points in the song, The Kid LAROI makes it explicit that the other person is luring him toward infidelity, and he has a hard time suppressing his desires. 

“And you don’t like bein‘ ’lone, lonely / You knew what you were doing, you were dead wrong,” he sings. 

“Different Kind of Beautiful” — Alec Benjamin

Alec Benjamin’s new single, “Different Kind of Beautiful,” dropped on Oct. 27. The song starts off with a gothic-sounding beat, which establishes a darker atmosphere than his usual music. This darker sound builds off of momentum from Halloweekend. 

The track’s darker tone does not last for long, though. About 20 seconds into the song, the drums enter, attributing a more upbeat tone to the ballad. Throughout the single, Benjamin describes the feelings of timidity and butterflies that come with having a crush. 

“You’re a different kind of beautiful, the kind that makes me scared / The kind that makes me turn around and act like I’m not there,” Benjamin sings.

Wholesome is the best word to describe the track. The lyrics of Benjamin’s newest release are purely romantic and innocent, resembling the tenderness of a first love. The lyrics further separate the song from his usual love-centered discography. 

“I was hoping’ that I’d run into you here, / But now I’m stumbling and I can’t seem to figure this out,” Benjamin sings.

November 5, 2023