There was a time in my life where I was very anti anything non-hip-hop, especially rock. I just would never really give it a chance, convinced that I would hate it; that was until I heard American Idiot. That album, and Green Day alone, were almost the entire reason I finally embraced rock and roll. American Idiot was an incredible album, a classic in my books, and while their last trio of albums (¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tre!) didn’t deliver like that one did, I still knew that had something special left in them and I had a feeling that would be Revolution Radio.
“Bang, bang, give me fame
Shoot me up to entertain
I am a semi-automatic lonely boy
You’re dead, I’m well fed”
Revolution Radio seemed like a noticeable return to the basics of rock and roll. There was no big dramatic concept, like on American Idiot, it was just simple, straightforward music that focused on each song as an individual piece. At first it felt a bit strange to hear from the group that’s made so much of their claim to fame off the dramatic, but their hard, guitar heavy compositions were a breath of fresh air in an era where mainstream rock has gone decidedly pop. It’s a great bounce back album with some real standouts like “Bang Bang”, “Youngblood”, “Still Breathing”, and “Forever Now.”
“I’m running late to somewhere now I don’t want to be
Where the future and promises ain’t what it used to be
I never wanted to compromise or bargain with my soul
How did a life on the wild side ever get so dull?”
Just because Revolution Radio isn’t as conceptual as their previous works, doesn’t mean it’s songwriting has any less punch. They’ve never been afraid of taking on social issues, and they don’t start to be here. They touch on just about anything and everything that’s going on in the current social climate of the US. Race, politics, gun violence, drug addiction; they take aim at everything. Some more successfully than others, but it’s hard not to appreciate artists who’ve already reached the top, that still “go there.”
Have you heard Revolution Radio? What’d you think about it? Did they get things back on the right track with this album? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.