In 1995, Green Day released their fourth album, to most people who don't know much about them but think they do, their second album. This is because it's their second major label
album, but who gives a damn about that? This album, Insomniac
, is somewhat overshadowed by the popularity of Dookie
, which was released not long at all before, but although it's good, it is somewhat understandable.
This album does feature many ordinary, Dookie
Green Day songs(referencing to the title of their third
album of course), but is perhaps their "darkest" album. The other differences, are that it contains some tracks with an entirely new kind of formula, but this is the difference right here that makes me like it less than Dookie
, and less than any other Green Day album except Shenanigans(which shares this problem, only worse)... It lacks the variation of Green Day's first major-label album. Songs like Stuart And The Ave.
, Westbound Sign
, and Tight Wad Hill
all fairly easily blend into each other, resulting in much of the album being pretty good, but forgettable. Another example of this is that Armitage Shanks
are about half a millimeter away from having the same exact drum opening.
This album shows perhaps the most equal balance of the three instruments of any Green Day album. Billie's guitar is present about the same amount as Mike's bass and Tre's drums are, something that only happened this one time, and would never happen again, after the guitar completely took over on Nimrod
. Mike is an excellent bassist, and this is perhaps the peak of his bassing. Tre's drumming seems more present here than on any other GD album, and seems more free and
varying than any other time. Billie's guitar sound seems to have gotten darker, and louder in tone on this album. The guitar and basslines are both catchy as hell, thoughout almost all of the album.
The lyrics have sort of a dark humorous context that you just can't seem to find in any of Green Day's other material, and are far angrier than in any other time in Green Day's career. Though often repetitive and simple throughout the album, the cleverness of his lyrics is undenyable. However, they are sometimes generic. Not bad, just forgettable and generic. This album has some of Green Day's better, more catchy choruses, yet unlike any other Green Day album, a small few songs have NO chorus. For instance, Brain Stew
only has an instrumental
chorus, yet no actual lyrical chorus.
Now that I've described the instrumentals and lyrics themselves of the album, I should describe some of the songs themselves. I will start out by mentioning the highlights. Stuck With Me
is a single, with lyrics about being insane, fuc
ked up, etc. It has a catchy chorus, and the way that there is just a slight segment of silence after it the first time, somehow makes the song more interesting. The lyrics are clever, instrumentals are catchy, and overall it's a good, memorable song.
The next highlight is also a single, Geek Stink Breath
, and lyrically, it seems to have the same concept as Stuck With Me
, only angrier, and somehow more amusing. Instrumentally, it couldn't be much more different. It's louder yet just slightly slower than Stuck With Me
, and sounds far more pissed off. However, as I said, it has the same lyrical concept, fits into exactly the same amount of time, and also uses the idea of putting a slight amount of silence after the chorus. So it's basically the same concept, just used in a different way.
Moving on, Bab's Uvala Who
is one of the songs with a completely new concept, and where the fuc
k did the idea for that title come from. Anyway, it's a metal(or punk?) type song, and it's loud and fast. Though basically everything about the song is repetitive, it's rather interesting, and like most repetitive songs, it's catchy. Brilliant angry lyrics, superb instrumentals, nice vocals, pretty much everything about the song is excellent.
The next highlight track is Panic Song
, a song that I've had trouble deciding whether or not is a highlight. On one hand, the first half of the song is a fantastic instrumental, getting louder constantly, apparently leading up to something. However, as soon as the lyrics we've been waiting for come in, something terrible happens, and your heart sinks... Everything we've been waiting for collapses and goes down the drain, and the song finishes off as a fairly average forgettable song, from what started out as a phenominal memorable song. Both sides mixed together, it still comes out as a pretty good song, but the depressing thing is, if it would have just kept it's promises, it would have been an unbelieveably great song. A really good, "disappointing" song if you will.
The next highlight is a single I believe I mentioned earlier, called Brain Stew
. Why do the singles have to be so much better than the rest of this album? Who knows. Anyway, most Green Day fans hate this song, but I love it. Sure, it's Billie playing the same simple riff over and over again throughout the song, but it's damn catchy. The lyrics are great, and about Billie's addiction to meth, and how it affected him(there is a legend that it's about his son keeping him up all night, but I REALLY doubt that, listen to it closely and watch the video). The lyrics are repetitive to an extent, but they're so good, it doesn't really bother me. In much of the song, it's only guitar and drums, and the only bass is in the instrumental chorus-type part of the song, and though it sounds almost out of tune or something, it just adds in to the whole "fuc
ked up" theme of the song. This is the best song on the album.
The final track is another single, Walking Contradiction
. It may sound like I'm reviewing the video more than the song, but it's great, and I can't help it. It probably has the best video of any Green Day song, and undoubtedly the most hilarious. Like the lyrics, the video seems to be about the three members wanting to boss everyone around, and make people look like idiots. What makes it hilarious is that they just walk along completely invincible, as cars smash into each other, cop cars hit stoplights(the actual part that hangs down from the air), and buildings crumble. Mike presses a walk button while a stoplight is being repaired, electricuting a worker. Tre grimly smiles as a cop car hits a stoplight. Billie walks into an intersection, causing a million wrecks. In the end, they get in a Pinto, and speed off as a building falls to the ground. Can it get any better? Anyway, the song has clever lyrics, the guitar kicks ass, and it's a pretty amusing ending for the album, after you've seen that video.
Overall, a decent album, just too repetitive, and not enough variation. The singles are somewhat misleading, as unlike every other Green Day album, they are by far the best tracks. There is no pure garbage on here, but other than the singles, not much stands out. Next to Shenanigans
, I'd say this is the weakest GD album.
Good balance of instruments
Mike's bass is at its peak
A darker, yet more humorous feel
Not enough variation
Some songs are forgettable
Singles mislead, and unlike any other GD album, are typically the highlights