Music Reviews
Father of All...

Green Day Father of All...

(Reprise) Rating - 5/10

If you’re a music fan on Twitter, you’ve probably seen a recent ad for Green Day’s album, Father of All..., toting the selling points of “No Swedish songwriters” and “No trap beats.” Aside from the frustrating undertones there, the ad is a ridiculous sell for an album that surprisingly contains multitudes. It’s full of overproduced, somewhat cringy pop-punk, but it’s also joyful in a way that Green Day hasn’t felt since the 90s. It isn’t a big statement, nor a back to the basics, Dookie-esque album that many fans want. It’s what Green Day is now in 2020, for better or for worse.

Still, if you had only heard the painful single Oh Yeah!, you’d probably be even more upset with that recent ad that touted the album's supposed rock purity. For a track built around a Gary Glitter sample (yikes), with giant pop handclaps and ugly guitars carrying a weightless pre-chorus, it’s an abject failure of a song, one that seemingly tries to bridge the gap between classic Green Day and today's pop. Other singles like the opening title track get closer to this ridiculous goal, taking a classic template of a Green Day song and giving it a scuzzy sheen, with Billie Joe Armstrong’s weak falsetto and uncomfortably clean production.

Father of All... still has its moments with the brief Sugar Youth, or the steady I Was a Teenage Teenager, but without a stronger core, it starts to feel like a plastic approximation of Green Day’s best. With its faux surf-punk groove and Tré Cool’s styrofoam drum work, Stab You in the Heart almost feels like fun, even though it's almost disorientingly compressed. Graffitia is ultimately the final straw here, with its vomit-inducing cheese chorus and writing that feels like a The Struts tune—you start to wonder what Billie Joe and co. were even going for here. On a first listen, the album seems like it's jumping out in a handful of different directions. Certain songs try to recapture their old glory, while others feel like an embarrassing pop ploy—but the most consistent feeling is pure disappointment. Even when Green Day is supposedly having fun here, they sound tired and overworked at best. In a pre-release interview, Armstrong called rock music so tame —it’s just surprising he’d be that honest about Father Of All.