When Green Day first announced a trilogy of upcoming albums, there was definite reason to worry about how good they would actually be; did the band actually have that much quality material to release? Or was this just a chance to rake in as much money as possible on B-sides and half-baked tracks? Whereas ¡Uno! proved the band was still recording punk gems worthy of recognition by old and new fans alike, ¡Dos! leans more toward the latter, serving up a few enjoyable songs in the midst of quite a few duds. This album is also hurt by the limited amount of time between each release: while ¡Dos! isn’t necessarily a bad album, it feels stale and uninteresting when ¡Uno! came out just a month ago. A new dose of Green Day like this might have gone over better had the fans been forced to wait a little longer, but there’s nothing new or fresh enough here to make ¡Dos! feel like anything less than the deluxe version of ¡Uno!. Green Day continues to experiment with their musical balance between the melodies and intricacies of 21st Century Breakdown and their punk roots, but the results are largely mixed and don’t do as much to raise one’s anticipation for ¡Tre! as they should.
The constant guitar-chugging of Jason White, Mike Dirnt’s twangy bass hook and wonderfully rhythmic drumming of Tre Cool on “Stop When The Red Lights Flash” proves that Green Day still knows what it takes to make a good song, despite some of the album’s other tracks falling off a bit. The background vocals a sense of fun to each rocking chorus and bridge, while Billy Joe Armstrong delivers the type of glorious punk vocals fans have come to expect from the band. The lyrics leave a bit to be desired, but the upbeat rhythms and impressive composition make it an excellent addition to the album.
Dirnt’s groovy bass hooks usually play a prominent role in Green Day’s songs, but they rarely turn a song into a light and catchy tune like they do on “Stray Heart.” Despite the fact that this still isn’t Green Day’s A-game, the straightforward, sing-along nature of each chorus combined with easygoing riffs and a few solos thrown in makes it an entertaining and mindless listen, which might sound like criticism, but is actually praiseworthy in this song’s simple appeal.
Written after Amy Winehouse’s passing, “Amy” is a mellow acoustic track, melancholy in its lyrics but pleasantly soothing in its composition. Armstrong’s vocals aren’t anything special and the tempo feels a little too fast for a track of this type, but the sad and beautiful words ring true regardless for a memorable end to the album.
Musical eclecticism is a trait worthy of praise within the rock genre, but Green Day’s ¡Dos! pushed the limit a bit, feeling more jumbled than anything. From the Oasis-like vocals on “Wild One” to the guitar riff of “Makeout Party” that sounds strikingly similar to “East Jesus Nowhere,” it feels like the band is just making music for the sake of making music at times. And that’s before mentioning the appalling “Nightlife,” made even worse by Lady Cobra’s rapped verses. You read that right, rapped. However, there are some stellar tracks worthy of praise, such as the Wolfmother-reminiscent “Lady Cobra” and “Lazy Bones” which has some of the most enjoyable guitar riffs of the whole album and background vocals that show just how good Green Day is at crafting lighter and agreeable rockers that take the listener back to the happy days of punk rock goodness in the 90s. With a garage rock sound, fans of Foxboro Hottubs, Sum 41, Franz Ferdinand, Pinhead Gunpowder, My Chemical Romance and Oasis should be right at home. ¡Dos! won’t quite appeal to all fans the way ¡Uno! did, but it’s still a decent listen and certainly isn’t bad enough to discourage Green Day from devouring ¡Tre! a month from now.
Final Score: 7/10
Rank: 6th (eleven total albums)
- See You Tonight
- F*** Time
- Stop When The Red Lights Flash
- Lazy Bones
- Wild One
- Makeout Party
- Stray Heart
- Baby Eyes
- Lady Cobra
- Wow! That’s Loud