Review Summary: With both great songs and poor songs, Warning shows both sides of Green Day. When it should have been more of the great side which we know they can do.
I’ve always had a little soft spot for Green Day. They may be make-up wearing fools now but they always released good music. Every album I have listened to had ace songs and stinkers. Warning has both, but from what I’ve heard it seems this is the album which divided the fan base: love or hate. Personally, this is a love relationship. Sure, it’s pop punk but it always puts a smile on my face when I listen to it.
The first track is “Warning”, a great sing-along track with a catchy beat and great backing vocals. The music video is also a triumph for the album. Every time I listen to the track and the line “caution police better not cross” always makes me sing along with it. This is a personal favourite Green Day song for me. “Blood, Sex & Booze” is next with another catchy tune and great fun lyrics. The “whoas” are effective here teamed with simple drumming.
“Church On Sunday” is a good track with a great chorus. I’m aware this isn’t as popular as some other tracks on the album. Understandable with the uninspired lyrics but, when it’s on I don’t want to turn it off. “Fashion Victim” however, I do want to turn off. With lyrics that make no sense (commonplace with Green Day) and a tune that’s annoying as hell because it gets stuck in you’re head- the first stinker on the album. “Castaway” puts the album back on track with a fast-paced drum beat and speedy vocals. The chorus is as simple as can be and rewarding for it. Great bass as well in this song. Finally, Billy’s lyrics pay dividends. “Castaway” is certainly one of the best songs on the album.
“Misery” is a track I dislike with a vengeance. I don’t like the mix of accordions and mandolins. It just doesn’t do anything for me; some would say this is a fantastic song, for me it’s one of the worst songs on the album. “Deadbeat Holiday” features a very catchy chorus and that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t sound much different from “Church on Sunday” I would say. It’s better than “Misery” (because of the pace) but it’s just an average song.
“Hold On” begins with a harmonica which then goes into very dreary beat. In the first couple of verses it sounds as if Billy couldn’t be bothered and just speaks the words without any kind of conviction he enjoys it. The feelings mutual in that respect because the song is dull. As much as I like harmonicas, they don’t do much in this song. We all know Mike is a brilliant bassist but it’s just buried underneath the dullness. Come to think of it, the bass really hasn’t been fully justified in this album as it should be.
“Jackass” again isn’t much great song. It follows a similar beat to “Church On Sunday” and “Deadbeat Holiday”. Did Billy have no inspiration or originality while recording some of these songs? It’s bearable to listen to but it isn’t a “Basket Case”. Not much on this album is as good as that single song. Finally after a bunch of average or lower songs “Waiting” rescues the album from falling apart. I guess the title is fitting since you had to go through so much filler to get to the good stuff. Make no mistake about it; “Waiting” is a good track, more than good in fact. I love the third quarter where the music drops to an acoustic piece and then hits straight back up again. A wonderful song.
Speaking of wonderful, the lead single from the album “Minority” brings things back to the top again. Simple lyrics which get to the point (at least in the chorus). A sing-along chorus is what Green Day can do brilliantly and it really shines here. I remember the music video all to well and how awesome it was. Just an amazing song which anyone could enjoy. Great tune with excellent bass and drums and Billy’s best vocal performance on the album.
“Macy’s Day Parade” is the final song and a great song to finish the album. It’s an acoustic ballad and a fine one. It’s not my favourite from the album but it’s a great song. I’m calling it now- it’s not as good as “Good Riddance”. But this has a lovely tune and great vocals sung with emotion and conviction. What else can I say about it?
Warning is a mix of good, bad, amazing and bloody awful. I’m well aware I pretty cut this album pretty deep even though I said I loved it. But no matter how bad some songs are, I just keep listening to the album. There’s something here for all Green Day fans but it just doesn’t beat such albums like Dookie and Nimrod. But we are all aware that Green Day is so much better than this.