Review Summary: Green Day seem to have decided that they just don't give a f*ck about impressing anyone or protesting anything anymore, and the result is a consistent album that won't really amaze nor seriously disappoint anyone.
"I've been around since f**king 19 f**king 80 f**king 8"
While Billie Joe Armstrong's recent outburst at the iHeart Music Festival has effectively landed him in rehab over 'substance abuse', he has a mighty fine point. Green Day have been around for a considerably lengthy period of time and don't really feel the need to please anyone but themselves with what they put out nowadays. While their previous two efforts "American Idiot" and "21st Century Breakdown" were hour-long epics, with thematic elements and all sorts of religious and political stabs every which way, "Uno!" seems to bring Green Day back to their roots to some extent. While it doesn't have the same punk sound of "Dookie" or "Nimrod", and is certainly more commercial, it's nowhere near as extravagant as "21st Century Breakdown". Honestly, it really feels as if they just said "f*ck it" and blasted out 12 tracks they liked, possibly while blind off various substances, but none-the-less in a way that sounds fairly good to me.
I think the best way to define this album would be "solid". There aren't any real stand-outs and there aren't really any let downs. Tracks like "Nuclear Family" and "Stay The Night" seem to have a certain simplicity and charm that's quite refreshing, and they definitely feel less commercial than previous efforts. In contrast, we have songs like "Kill The DJ" that are just plain aimless - pointless profanity, nonsensical and plainly a bad attempt at a commercial song. Overall though, the good outweighs the bad, and tracks like "Carpe Diem" are enough to give me faith that the following albums in the "album trilogy" (Dos! and Tre!) will be positive and listenable. The lyrics seem a little cornier than those of "American Idiot" or most previous albums for that matter, but songs like "Sweet 16" and "Troublemaker" are strong enough to get through the record without any dramas. Like I stated earlier, nothing really stands out, while even the lead single "Oh Love" is tucked away at the rear end of the record. But to call this album anything less than "good" would just be plain wrong.
Tracks like "Carpe Diem" and "Let Yourself Go" will have you reminiscing of past days, when Green Day were in their prime, albeit without that real punk sound of the 1990's. Songs like "Kill The DJ" will however have you reaching for the skip button within seconds. The rest of the album I'm honestly quite indifferent to, it starts strong but tails off into a bunch of forgettable tracks that are a decent listen when passing time. It's basic chordal progressions played at a bright tempo for the most part, and nothing more or less. It really seems like there isn't much to say about the album besides just that; it will cop a load of hate for being 'boring', but it really is merely a consistent album aimed at, well, no one. It really feels like they released an album that they liked, without trying to please too many people, because they simply don't give a f*ck anymore.
I'll leave you with the wise words of Billie Joe that may have you thankful that there are much worse albums out there:
"I'm not f**king Justin Bieber, you motherf**kers!"