¡Uno! by Green Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 14, 2012
I have to be honest: I was extremely disappointed by “¡Uno!” which is the first album in Green Day's 2012 trilogy. I was desperately hoping the band would go backwards with their musical style, but this remains similar to pop rock. That's not the only problem: Of its 13 tracks, I actually only enjoyed two.

After thoroughly listening to “¡Uno!” and reading the lyrics until they were carved into my brain, I began to notice its overall theme, which I realized is surprisingly deep and relatable. It seems that lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong was reflecting on his coming of age and trying to reach out to his audience. The first track, “Nuclear Family,” describes a common problem among teenagers: family issues. Armstrong himself didn't have a nuclear family. His father died when he was ten, and his relationship with his stepfather wasn't pleasant.

“Carpe Diem” is, in my opinion, the preeminent song on the album. Life is short, after all, and it really does pass in “a blink of an eye,” as Armstrong's striking voice sings out. Not only are the vocals and lyrics over the top, but the instrumentals also set a mood that empowers the listener. It sends a positive message – something you don't see much in mainstream music anymore.

Unfortunately, these are probably the only pleasant aspects of the album. Track five, “Kill the DJ,” is plain terrible. It sounds as if Armstrong is using AutoTune. Like an old lady using Botox, Green Day is trying to appear younger, and it's not working out.

Another negative of the album is the lack of emotion in Armstrong's voice. One thing that had me screaming for Green Day is how at one time, his voice portrayed so much anger one moment, but could become melancholy, light, or innocent the next. In “¡Uno!” he sounds distant and withdrawn. And then he screws up some of the tracks even more, trying to produce an angry sound by simply adding explicit words. Newsflash, Billie: cursing your lungs out won't necessarily add emotion to your music.

“¡Uno!” is nowhere near Green Day's best album. After the brilliance of “21st Century Breakdown,” it was almost impossible to wait three years to see what else Green Day had in store. Expectations were set pretty high in 2009, and this album just didn't cut it – it's a huge letdown.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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TeaWithMariaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm
You struck some valid points with this review. I'm not a fan of Green Day, but I daresay that reading a review of this album written by a Green Day fan was very enjoyable. Great perspective, and cool writing.
Mckay This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm
First of all, very detailed review. Good.   Second, I'm also disappointed with this band. They're amazing and talented. It's sad to see that they're trying to relate with all these other (mostly talentless) artists. I think it's ok to try new stuff and experiment. Artists shouldn't be tied down to one thing exclusively. Tastes become different over time. But as long as it's good. I mean, if they're trying to be all auto-tuned, pop rock, and whatever like ... (more »)
ConstanceContraire said...
Oct. 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm
Haven't heard any of Green Days newer albums I kinda just stick to 21 guns, Wake me up when semptember ends, and sometimes Boulavard of Broken Dreams.  Check out Muse if you haven't heard of them :) I love the band Coldplay ( dont know if youve heard of them) But their newest album was a MAJOR disappiontment. The old Coldplay was much much better :)
Nimbalo said...
Oct. 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm
I think this is a good review. Green day has been one of my favorite bands for the past several years. However, I do think Uno was a good album. The reason I think so is because last year around this time(when Uno came out) I was just starting to date my current girlfriend and it was also right before my stepbrother died, and he was the one who got me into green day. He taught me bass guitar and some of my last memories with him were showing him Green Day's new album Uno. That may be my pers... (more »)
ChobaniLuvinPenguin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm
I love your review! You clearly present your opinions with a powerful voice that makes your review so much fun to read! The humor and sarcasm add to the greatness of it all! So awesome!!! Keep writing!!!
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