Music Reviews

Green Day Dos!

(Reprise) Rating - 2/10

As I’ve alluded in previous reviews, my taste for music didn’t really begin until I was about 12 years old-- and interestingly enough, Green Day was the group that started it all. For a great deal of my youth, Green Day was one of the few bands that really spoke to me. As ineloquent as their lyrics are, they were still the perfect match for my geeky, suburban, preteen angst. Albums like Kerplunk, Dookie, Insomniac, and even American Idiot had a very special appeal in that they relayed a certain brand of mild rebellion against the status quo-- dangerous, but safe enough for a politically uninformed 7th grader to cling onto. As I get older, I find that my appreciation for those albums on a purely musical level has faded a bit, but my nostalgia for them is boundless. Unfortunately, no amount of nostalgia can turn Dos! into a nearly passable effort. 

Many of the tracks on Dos! are merely soulless specters of previous work from Green Day’s “golden-age.” For instance, Ashley sort of reminds me of one of my favorite tracks off of Dookie, She, but lacks any of the nervous restrain that made that song a true standout. Lady Cobra sounds like the band is reusing the chug along riff from Longview, but for the entire song, making it an extremely difficult listen. Even Stray Heart hearkens back to some of the band’s mushy, late-90‘s material, but is entirely devoid of any truly heartfelt sentiments. What’s even worse about these retreads are how dramatically compressed they are. It almost seems like they squeezed all of the remaining life-force out of the album on purpose, as to reassure that these songs were unequivocally top 40 pop-friendly. This overly-compressed state reaches its pinnacle on Wow! That’s Loud, which began to make my headphones pulse in a mess of muffled feedback. Normally, this would actually be a point of excitement for me, as I am an immense fan of using harsh frequencies to arouse an emotional response. However, Green Day cowers away from any possibility of emotional connectivity by applying a thick layer of compression that effectively neuters the entire piece. 

I’m gonna cut to the chase, folks. Why do albums like this get made? How an album like Dos! comes to be is simply a matter of happenstance-- Green Day is a multimillion dollar brand, their name on anything can instantly sell hundreds of thousands of records. That point is precisely what provokes me to beg the question, “Why?” If Green Day can essentially make a quick buck by putting anything to tape, why do they insist on delivering diluted versions of their preteen-friendly material? I guess that’s a matter of how well a band ages. Some bands are able to grow and change with their audience; others realize they have nothing left to say and dissolve. However, neither has been the case for Green Day at all. I mean seriously, what drives a well established band composed entirely of 40 year old men to spontaneously don eyeliner, bullet belts, and tight pants? The answer: greed or a midlife crisis-- and frankly, I’m willing to bet it’s a mix of both for Green Day.