I've had Green Day's latest album, Revolution Radio, for a little while now. I've been unable to muster the enthusiasm to review it before; even now, "enthusiasm" would be overstating it. That all probably makes it sound like I don't like the album, but that too would be overstating it. My problem is that Revolution Radio is both likeable and forgettable.
Prime Green Day is certainly long past us. Longtime "purist" fans would probably point to their album Dookie as their peak; most would probably say American Idiot was their best effort. Either way, there's been a high degree of similarity in all their work since. Their lyrics shift in deference to the topical sentiment (as in one of this album's best tracks, "Still Breathing"), but their musical style remains pretty much the same.
Take the album opener, "Somewhere Now." It's not quite "three chord rock," but it is a chord progression Green Day has used before. Or "Bang Bang," that opens with audio clips just like "East Jesus Nowhere" on a previous album. Or "Forever Now," the kind of double-length, medley style song now expected after that kind of track was a hit on American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown.
There are fun moments scattered throughout the album -- the machine gun snare of the album's title track, the simple but catchy chorus of "Youngblood," and others. Yet ultimately, this is an album that might please, but surely could not thrill, a Green Day fan. If you like Green Day, you'll like this album -- but you also won't need this album. You'll feel like you already have it.
All that's a hard sentiment to put a letter grade on. I figure it works out to maybe a B-? The truth is, if this album is for you, you probably already have it.