After creating the image of snot-nosed, booger obsessed punks with Dookie and Insomniac, Green Day took a little bit of a hiatus. They came back to the studio with the idea of making a newer, more mature image. Billie was 28 with a family. It was time for him to grow up. Enter Nimrod. Down with the three chord crap and usher in the harmonica, saxophone, trumpet, mariachi horns, violin, the works.
1. Nice Guys Finish Last- This is the perfect way for Green Day to say we're back, we've changed, and we're better than ever. While the intro is a little boring, the verse is better with Mike taking the backup. No guitar in the verse here which is an immediate change from everything GD's done before. When the pre-verse gets going, you feel the sarcastic anger in Billie's voice rise. The fist pumping cry of "Nice Guys Finish Last" in the chorus is the best part. Mike does some nice bassing, but its far less noticeable than it was in previous albums. You have to listen for the fill he does inbetween chorus lines. Great opener, and a good choice for a single.
2. Hitchin' A Ride- The strangest thing Green Day has done to this point in their careers, Hitchin a Ride starts off with a violin playing a haunting 1800's Europe diddy, and a Stray Cat's-esque guitar riff. The verses are sly and cold with the line "Need a lift to happy hour say Oh No...." like we're waiting for somehting that will explode come the chorus. That does come the first time when Billie un palm-mutes his riff and lets it ring with anger. Some good songwriting in the bridge, far imrpoved from Insomniac's lyrics. The solo is the best part with Billie screaming and the guitars sounding liek they're smashing together with a headbanging riff that digs into the upper reaches of the fret board. This is the real announcement that Green Day has changed.
3. The Grouch- And just when you thought you were in for a masterpiece, Green Day f*'s it up. Seriously, play Grouch and Brat at them same time, and it's practically the same song. Only this time, Mike doesnt go crazy with his bass to make it sound cooler. Mike's bass is disappointingly absent from this whole album. the lyrics are pretty funny though ("I dont have sex, cuz i cant get it up" :-D). The song otherwise is crap.
4. Redundant- This entire album is about Billie's songwriting and voice prowess and he's not going to disappoint. Once again another song Green Day fans say is crap that I like. Smart lyrics, even though they dont make any sense. They're more like one-liner themes ("Choreographed and lack of passion/prototypes of what we were"). My favorite part is the chorus where Billie lets his voice fly and he belts out a touching cry of his love for a girl. Musically kinda boring, no great work done instrumentally. This is the lost single, and it really shouldn't have been. Come on MTV, the song is fine. It's better than some Britney Spears crap.
5. Scattered- Billie has now lost said love of previous song, and he's writing about it. It's hard to tell if he's angry, which you could guess from the blaring intro, or sad, which you could guess from the melancholy lyrics of the verse. The chorus is ok. It all seems sad. Musically, the rhythym doesnt do much in the body again, but at least they play more than three chords, which is what they were limited to in the first 4 albums. Mike rips out a killer bass solo in the middle, but then the song just repeats it's chorus and it's done.
6. All The Time- For those of you hwo already have this album, you know this song. It's the one that gets caught in yer head. For Days. Well the riff is catchy, if not maddeningly so, that cant be denied. They do a three chord verse which is forgettable and then they go into a nice chorus or pre chorus with dirty tricks/dirty tricks/ and a trick question line. Notice how there's no work to be dont by the rythym again.
7. Worry Rock- Billie tones it even further down in this somewhat boring song about love (The third song of it's kind on this album, already tied with dookie and insomniac combined). Nothing to be said here. Everything fails to deliver.
8. Platypus (I hate you)- God do we need this. After the boring three songs before, two of them about sweet love, we need a punk anthem. So lets play our @$$es off at the highest tempo Tre can set and lett'er rip boys. A punk song to the fullest, with the verses that make no sense, the chorus that keeps up the tempo and the anger. The Bridge is the best part when Billie goes on a profanity streak so bad, his lawyers made him exclude this song from the lyric book. The intro and bridge riffs are great Thank god for giving us this, I was sick of slow, soft, un Green Day songs.
9. Uptight- It took me a while to get into this song because the verse drags a bit and the chorus at them end drags a bit. But when you concentrate in the anthem chorus, you start to like it. The Upthight cry is really what gets me likin it. But the instruments get screwed again. I really hate that.
10. Last Ride In- Oooo well here's a funky little diddy. The most unexpected song Green Day's done up till when they got all political. Tre kicks out a bossa nova beat and Mike keeps a soft bass line and Billie keeps a very mellow feel with his guitar. Things get interesting when the Mexican Marriaci players step in and play something that perfectly goes along with it. If you're ever having trouble trying to sleep, and yer counting sheep but running out (Haha... Oooohhh I need to fire my writers...) play this song. Not because it's boring, but because you will be very relaxed, like yer on the beach. Just dont play the next song cuz you'll have totally undone everything you were just trying to do.
11. Jinx- A same old Green Day three chord filler. Angrier, but crappier than the rest of the album, this is for you GD heads who love No Pride. Sounds just like that. And I dont like No Pride and I don't like this either. Tre pulls a Meg White and just bangs on his crash during the solo, but other than that he does some fine drumming, finally. The song's bad, but it leads into one of my favorites on the album, Haushnika.
12. Haushnika- Haushnika is a girl with a peculiar name. No ****. The intro has some great drumming by Tre and In a funky time signature too. I like this song not because of the catchy lyrics, but of the cool way they pull off the tempo and time signature. The chorus leaves a little to be desired, but the bridge makes up for that with "Will she ever find a way???" Again cheers to Tre for making this song what it is, and Billie vocalizes it realy good.
13. Walking Alone- This is where Billie "shows off" his harmonica laying talents, even though the harmonica is boring and so is the song. A 7 year old kid could play the drum beat, and with no bass or guitar to speak of, so they're pretty dead. Billie keeps it in his upper range as he has the whole album, and I dont like it. Very boring, and really shouldn't have made the album.
14. Reject- For those of you who don't know what this song is about, Billie got a letter from an angry parent who told him he was a bad influence. He responded by writing a shut the hell up letter and this song, an angry blaster with a kick-flam drum beginning and Billie belting out a take no prisoners anthem that comes off more as a screw the establishment cry than a screw you in particular. Mike makes the most out of one of his few bass solo's. He leads the bridge with a rising, angry riff and Billie ends with a middle finger pointing "You're not my type".
15. Take Back- An out of nowhere metal (or is it hardcore punk?) song that is so strange with Billie screaming (yes BILLIE SCREAMING), that It's impossible to describe adequately. Fast, hard, and strange. 1 minute.
16. King For A Day- This song starts with some swing band horns, and then leads into the story of a drag queen who has a heart, gosh-darnit. This song is a concert favorite and it's a fun song too. The jumpy tempo sets the stage for A laugh or two listening to the words (GI Joe In Pantyhose? Come on thats funny, especially coming from Billie). Whoever plays the horn does a great job and all the credit should go to him because without the horns, this song would be dead.
17. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)- What can be said? Touching, heartfelt, ballad coming from Billie's soul. The words don't point in any direction, which I think is on purpose because when I ask people what they think of when they think of it, they tell me they think of a time when their hearts were uplifted by something great, no matter what it is. This is the most beautiful song Ive ever heard. Simple to play and something evryone can appreciate. Set your feelings of Green Day aside people, just enjoy it. Would have been a great finisher, but we still have one more to go.
18. Prosthetic Head- Green day turns a 4 chord riff and with Billie's voice, turn it into something to listen to. No rythym greatness again, just Billie's time to shine. Again. The Chorus is an anthem-like "You Dont Know" and it rocks. The solo jumps all over the place, all in power chords, which is pretty good. The lyrics are great, though still no direction. It's a risky call to put another finisher when the world would have been content with Good Riddance, but it doesnt kill the album.
Overall, This album is a good buy for those who liked International Superhits. I mean simply get the album for Good Riddance if nothing else. This album is a huge change of direction since Insomniac and Dookie. There are some skips on it though. I'd give it a 4 and a half if it werent for those skips tracks. It was a bold step in a new direction for Green Day, without a doubt. Unfortuneately it led them to going straight pop and making Warning....shudder....
A welcome leave from the three chord crappers that kept coming in Dookie and Insomniac.
Other instruments are used instead of the classic three that make a punk record.
Ends with 3 great songs, and if you ignore Take Back, 4 great songs
There's so much less bass :-(
Billie is no longer a punk, and on some songs he's simply a lovesick puppy.
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