Album Review: “iTre!” by Green Day
I think Green Day has already earned the right a long time ago to do whatever they want when it comes to the direction of their sound, how they want to approach the song-writing process, and if they want to experiment/incorporate any genre/music influences into each album release. Afterall, it is their album and we are the listeners/fans who purchase it. I have always found it amusing if not down right ridiculous each time you have the older fans of Green Day feuding or criticizing the newer/modern fans of Green Day. I think if you were really a fan of the band, you wouldn’t pretend to know better than the band themselves or alienate/shun the younger fans.
That is why when I found out that there would be a trilogy of albums that would be consecutively released a few months apart from each other all within the year 2012. That got me thinking and wondering what made Green Day decide on this move. I think it was a great way to make up for the lost/missed years between the album releases of “Americian Idiot” in 2004 and “21st Century Breakdown” in 2009. Now, I finally made it on time to review and purchase the third installment and the last release of the trilogy titled: “iTre!”. Here is my review of the BEST TRACKS of “iTre!”
Track 1. ‘Brutal Love’ – This sounds more like a prom song, an old one. But that is one of the best things about Green Day. You really don’t know what creative direction they will take and how they will surprise you. Despite it being a mellow love song. Lyrically, Billie Joe does deliver here and via his simple yet effective guitar line. This song is sure to make you think of the relationships that have failed or eluded you. The lyrics are a bit too cheesy for my taste but if it is a love song you are after, this track for you. Just don’t expect it to be a stand out or the best of the “iTre!” album.
Track 2. “Missing You” – Instantly after I listened to this song, the first words that entered my mind were “90’s adult contemporary rock”. Think of bands from that decade like the Spin Doctors or Gin Blossoms. The Lyrics, the arrangement and just how the song feels are a reminder of that time. This track is a great listen, and a proof that Green Day can perform still songs like these as if they were in their 20’s. Cool Track!
Track 5. “X-Kid” – Arguably, the best track of this album and one of the most awaited also, ever since it was leaked in the internet before the album was made available here in the Philippines. This already got people anticipating the release of “iTre!”. Can this be another “punk-anthem” in the making? This track has the best lyrics in my opinion in the entire album. And there is a solo of Billie Joe, as well. Take a listen and judge for yourself!
Track 6. “Sex, Drugs and Violence” – Can you say “cliche” or “Haven’t I heard this before?” Before you come quick to judge this track by the title alone, listen to it first. The fast paced-guitar riffs, the simplistic yet solid drum-beats, and the thick slabs of bass courtesy of bassist Mike Dirnt–this is one track where the boys of Green Day let it all hang loose and revisit their punk roots. This is the heaviest of the album.
Track 7. “Amanda” – Another track that is mellow and more love inspired than anything. Catchy Lyrics and personal references to what could have been a relationship he could have had before. Nothing spectacular, but noteworthy because of the lyrical content that has always been one of the strengths of Billie Joe.
Track 9. ” Walk Away’ – The song starts out as a simple guitar-driven instrumental. But as soon as Billie Joe starts his verse and gets personal, the calm is now taken over by a surge of “punk energy” and the rest of the band get involved turning it into a full band effort. The lyrics are a tad repetitive in nature. A simple yet catchy track.
Track 10. ” Dirty Rotten Bastards” – The second best track in the album for me. The vocals of Billy Joe are one of the strongest here. The thing with Billie Joe is that as he gets older, the quality of his voice is not affected but in fact, it stays the same as though his voice is still that of a young Billie Joe. “Dirty Rotten Bastards” is comparable to songs like “Jesus Of Suburbia” with the idea of throwing in multiple topics into one, even if it doesn’t fall into a concept album. It is still Green Day doing what they can to meet expectations of fans who think they are already past their prime.
Track 11. “The Forgotten” – The only reason I included this track in my album review, is that it is part of the “Breaking Dawn Part 2″ soundtrack and I wouldnt want to enrage the twilight fans, kidding aside. This song really does nothing for the reputation and credibility of Green Day. I say this because Green Day are so established and renowned worldwide that they don’t need the exposure and they did this more as a way to reach out to “Twilight” fans. This is a fact–they were invited and were practically begged of to contribute a song to the Twilight move franchise. It is the band’s victory to have one of their songs included. Hooray for Green Day!
I think the album is a good assortment of tracks that would appeal to different fans of Green Day. You got some songs that are simple in terms of their chord progressions and build-up. You got a few tracks that are reminiscent of their not so earlier works like “Warning”. They just have such a lenghty back catalog of work that all they have to do is choose a song and borrow a few elements/characteristics of it.
I remember when Green Day were first labeled as “Sell-outs”! I didn’t fully understand how these fans would label their idols or “heroes of rock” as such, since Green Day did what is right–and that is to accept an offer from any of the major labels who were heavily pursuing them to sign a record deal. They did the right thing. They did what is not only for their professional careers as musicians, but which financially secured them as well. Because either way, they would still be criticized and there is no way to please everybody, whether it is some smart ass kid, a music intellect or a relatively new fan. These people will always have something to say about their music. That is the way it is. Even the greatest, most legendary, and respected bands have their critics. It is no different for Green Day. This band has continued on to make music that will only earn them a wider audience that are mostly comprised and made up of teenagers. This band is older–they are in their 40’s–but they still are making younger and younger fans like their music. So, it is no longer just the parents that were into the music of Green Day, but their kids as well. Green Day for me is one of the most beloved bands today. They have an appeal about them that is hard not to appreciate and be fond of. Because their fans do look up to them. You even have bands that have chosen their band name from some songs from Green Day. You even have bands that are mostly punk inspired ones, who choose to be a trio instead of a quartet in a band. And there have even been a few bands that have become Green Day covers and only sing songs from Green Day. That is dedication and respect for the bands you like. ITre is for every fan of Green Day and if you don’t like it, then dont purchase it. It is that simple.