No ‘Troubled Times’ for Green Day’s new album

Sasha Vassilyeva, co-opinions editor

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They always say that nothing can beat the original. This goes in terms of movies, T.V. series and music. With current events bringing new topics of discussion, controversies and trends, the thought of Green Day coming out with a new album that was able to adapt to the times seemed skeptical, but in their new album Revolution Radio, they incorporated current events in their music to create a revolutionary album.

Revolution Radio, released on Oct. 7, is by far the most intensely personal Green Day creation yet. Not only does it open a window to Billie Joe Armstrong’s inner struggles, the album also touches on political controversies, something they had done with previous albums such as American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown.

This album also introduces some new style and sound through both vocals by Armstrong, and instrumentals by bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool. The trio played with the use of acoustic moments that translated into Green Day’s authentic, 90s punk rock sound, which brings fans back to the times of Dookie and Kerplunk.

The album’s opener, “Somewhere Now,” evolves from a gentle, acoustic tone to one that ignites Green Day’s original punk rock sound.  The lyrics capture a political message as Armstrong sings, “All we want is money and guns, a new catastrophe” and acts as a cry for help and action.

Previewing the album was lead single “Bang Bang,” which was released on Aug. 11. Written from the point of view of a mass shooter, it brings up the heavy topic of the rise in gun violence in the United States And though the theme of the song is one that may be difficult to address, Armstrong’s lyrics, “I get my kicks, and I want to start a rager” will have you raging along with the band.

The album’s title track “Revolution Radio,” brings up yet another political controversy. This song, Armstrong explained, was inspired by a Black Lives Matter protest that he had witnessed in New York and through the lyrics, “Testify for the life that’s been deleted,” the meaning behind the song becomes pretty clear.

“Say Goodbye” focuses on violence in the U.S. — specifically police brutality. “Troubled Times” focuses on society’s lack of acceptance and the “troubled times” that might lie ahead with the presidential race on the horizon. All these songs use societal issues to create a politically-driven sound, one of my favorite things about both this album and the band as a whole.

“Outlaws,” one of the album’s more personal songs, switches back and forth from a softer piano to a rocking ballad about the days of the band’s childhood. The song not only highlights the band’s wild youth, but also shows the great pride Armstrong takes in their success.

The album’s final song, “Ordinary World,” was something I’ve never heard from Green Day before. The band transformed from an upbeat, rock to a moderate, acoustic vibe, which has led this song to become one of my favorites on the album.

“Ordinary World” acts as a beacon of hope for the “ordinary” who may feel out of place. “I don’t have much, but what we have is more than enough,” Armstrong sings, saying we don’t need much to have a good life in this “ordinary world.” His words can make anyone feel a little more extraordinary and have a personal feel to them that makes them relatable to everyone.

From the first song to the last, Revolution Radio kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting to hear more. With lyrics both personal and political, and a sound that incorporated classic rock, acoustic styles and their own early punk rock sound, Green Day has truly outdone itself with this album. After staying quiet for four years, Green Day came out with a huge “bang bang,” leaving lyrics stuck in my head and a feeling of nostalgia in my heart.

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