Photo credits: Pitchfork
Getting back to their roots, Green Day has released their 14th studio album, Saviors, channeling sounds from their earlier hits. The band pays tribute to their previous work, incorporating elements from albums like Dookie and American Idiot to create this latest addition to Green Day’s catalog. Saviors refuses to shy away from politics, giving a timely critique of some of the issues plaguing American minds.
1. The American Dream Is Killing Me
2. Look Ma, No Brains!
3. Bobby Sox
4. One Eyed Bastard
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
15. Fancy Sauce
Equal parts pop and punk, Green Day has been a household name for quite some time now. The band formed in 1987 and is credited with making punk mainstream in the ‘90s alongside other acts like The Offspring and Bad Religion. They have been an active part of the music scene since then, having sold over 85 million records and earning themselves a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Consisting of members Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool, the three-piece is known for their rebellious attitude and relentless frustration for what the world has become. That attitude is captured well on Saviors, showcasing a revival of the band’s fan-favorite sound.
Unapologetically pop-punk, Green Day delivers banger after banger with their guitar-laden tracks and cynical lyrics. Entries like “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” “Look Ma, No Brains!,” “Coma City,” “Living in the ‘20s,” and “Strange Days Are Here to Stay” address sociopolitical aspects of the United States, expressing the band’s frustrated feelings over the state of the country today. “The American Dream Is Killing Me” sets the energetic pace for Saviors, starting the album off with the juxtaposition of patriotic guitar riffs and sarcastic, unpatriotic lyrics. The track was initially composed during the Trump era, but Armstrong believed the song was too much for the time.
Taking aim at the heart of society’s sick nature, Armstrong takes a look at the violence running rampant in the U.S. in “Living in the 20’s.” The track is edgy and aggressive, backing up the hard-hitting lyrics with an appropriate amount of pop-punk angst. Other songs like “Strange Days Are Here to Stay” reflect on the feeling that everything has gone to hell, doing so in a lighthearted way through playful melodies and comical lyrics. Contemplating society’s decline, Armstrong sings, “Ever since Bowie died/It hasn’t been the same,” and I honestly couldn’t agree more.
Departing from the album’s overall politically charged nature, songs like “Dilemma,” “Bobby Sox,” and “One Eyed Bastard” allow listeners to forget about the woes of the world for a bit. “Dilemma” focuses on the struggles of sobriety and falling in love in the catchiest way possible. The track is one of the highlights of Saviors, featuring a sound that takes us back to a nostalgic pop-punk era. Embracing his status as a bisexual icon, Armstrong delivers Green Day’s latest bisexual anthem with “Bobby Sox”—a song that features the singer repeatedly screaming the questions, “Do you wanna be my girlfriend?” and “Do you wanna be my boyfriend?” Both “Bobby Sox” and “One Eyed Bastard” seem to draw inspiration from some other artists, paying homage to some of the hits before this album. “Bobby Sox” begins with a riff that sounds oddly similar to The Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden” and later turns into an in-your-face sound that Weezer would be proud of. “One Eyed Bastard” seems to have been influenced by P!nk, having an opening riff similar to “So What.”
Ignoring some of the uninspired lyrics on certain tracks, Saviors is filled with anthemic riffs and infectious melodies that’ll have several tracks being played on repeat. Quite a few of the tracks seem to intertwine feelings of nostalgia into the lyrics and melodies, including “Corvette Summer,” “1981,” and “Suzie Chapstick.” While “Corvette Summer” seems simple lyrically, it’s one of the catchier tunes on the album and would make a great song for cruising around with the top down.
Though many of the songs on Saviors are spirited and driving, the band shows they still know how to slow things down and let their softer side out. Green Day incorporates a few ballads on the album with “Goodnight Adeline,” “Father to a Son,” and “Fancy Sauce.” “Goodnight Adeline” has the essence of a power ballad, featuring face-melting guitars and large, impactful choruses. The softest track on Saviors, “Father to a Son,” starts with a simple, acoustic guitar driven soundscape that later evolves into an orchestral composition. Ending the album on a solemn note, “Fancy Sauce” is a thoughtful and introspective finale, closing Saviors with the idea that “We all die young someday.” It’s a striking shift from the animated nature of “Saviors,” the penultimate track on the album, leaving listeners with something to think about.
Green Day has always been attuned to states of political unrest and has made that known through their music. The band spares nothing when it comes to showing their distaste, letting that drive the narratives behind their bold creations. Saviors embodies that legacy to the fullest, taking us back to the band’s no-nonsense attitude that we’ve grown to know and love. Green Day may have strayed from that vibe a bit with albums like Father of All…, but Saviors brings back every bitter critique and rebellious outlook in the most tasteful way possible.
Written By Cheyenne Johnson
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