rating icon 9 / 10

Track listing:

1. The American Dream Is Killing Me
2. Look Ma, No Brains!
3. Bobby Sox
4. One Eyed Bastard
5. Dilemma
6. 1981
7. Goodnight Adeline
8. Coma City
9. Corvette Summer
10. Suzie Chapstick
11. Strange Days Are Here to Stay
12. Living in The '20s
13. Father to a Son
14. Saviors
15. Fancy Sauce

GREEN DAY are one of the most enduring bands from the late-1980s and early-1990s Bay Area punk scene. Throughout the years, they've been consistent and continued to stay creative and release new music. Reinvigorated in 2004 with their seminal release, the rock opera "American Idiot", the album made the already famous punk trio a household name around the world and scored them a Broadway musical.

For GREEN DAY, the recipe is to write quippy attitude-laden punk-rock songs that rage against suburban American norms, as well as commentary on political and social injustice. Now, the Berkeley, California, band is back with their 14th studio album, "Saviors", and they still have a lot to talk about.

Let's start with the album's lead single, "The American Dream is Killing Me". If you're thinking this song has a similar tone to "American Idiot", you're right, as the track has Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool expressing their frustrations over how they believe the traditional "American dream" doesn't apply to a lot of people and is even hurting them. The just over 3-minute vignette is instantly recognizable as GREEN DAY, with Armstrong's high-pitched, charming-yet-fractious vocals and the band's upbeat, peppy brand of punk-pop.

"The American Dream is Killing Me" is fully representative of the album ahead, so it makes sense that GREEN DAY released it as their lead single. Another early single, "One Eyed Bastard", is also a standout. Musically, it's a darker-sounding song, with a murky, almost metal-sounding riff and heavier rhythms. Lyrically, the song has Armstrong singing about bad times and challenges in life. As always, Armstrong and GREEN DAY have a knack for writing lyrics and songs to which pretty much everyone can universally relate, and that comes through throughout the album.

If you're looking for a more fun-loving version of GREEN DAY, you'll find it on "1981", a fun, party-happy punk song about a girl who's going to "bang her head" like it's 1981. Another light-and-airy number is "Corvette Summer", which plays like an upbeat summer anthem. "Suzie Chapstick" has a 1990s jangle-pop feel, with Armstrong singing nostalgically about a lost companion with a WEEZER or GIN BLOSSOMS vibe.

GREEN DAY celebrate the 39th anniversary of their groundbreaking 1994 album "Dookie" this year, and there really isn't a better way to celebrate than by releasing "Saviors", another statement album. No matter how successful GREEN DAY get, they'll always find something poignant to write about, whether it's the American condition or simply reflecting on the past, and that prevents their music from falling into the trap of being too repetitive, even if some themes are similar. More than 30 years in, GREEN DAY have a lot left to say, and it's clear "Saviors" is just the beginning.

Author: Anne Erickson
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