Review Summary: Nimrod is Green Day's best album. It has a variety of instruments, strong lyrics, and very few flaws. It shows 100% of Green Day's potential. It's an undiscovered gem.
Back in 1989, three teenagers, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and John Kriftmeyer created a band called Sweet Children. Billie Joe was the lead singer and guitarist, Mike was the bassist, and John was the drummer. Who would know that in just five years, they would become very famous? Two of them, anyway. Fairly soon, they changed their name to Green Day, and around 1991, released their first album, 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
. It was not all that popular. Around 1992, they booted Kriftmeyer, got Tre Cool, their current drummer, and released Kerplunk
. Once again, could've been far, far more popular. In 1994, they released Dookie
, and gained their world fame. After that, they lost much of their fame, that they wouldn't regain 100% for 10 years, with their almost life-changing American Idiot
. Many people forgot about Dookie
, and when hearing the name Green Day, automatically think, "Ew, Green Day. Those black and red-wearing famous 'sellouts'." As much as I disagree with using the term 'sellouts' for Green Day, if you don't know them well, it's easy to picture them wearing black and red, being world-famous, and having released their huge album. But they forget, there was a Green Day before that, and they made many albums that are fairly unknown, by now. One of those, was the 1997 album, Nimrod
Getting off of my rant of a biography, Nimrod
is an underrated gem, sought after as being just an average Green Day album. Though nearly no one notices, Nimrod
is Green Day's crowning achievement, at least if you ask me. It has the most distinctive sound to it, that can only be matched by perhaps Warning
. Instrumentally, it has a different sound to it. Anywhere from the Stray Cats sound, to punk rock, to surf music, to hamonica, horns, or violins, and even a few ballads, and punk songs, this album is highly likely to have something that fits your taste. Despite the variety of additional instruments, there are, obviously, your regular Green Day instruments, and your regular Green Day sound. As for guitar, there is a lot. Perhaps more than ever before. Billie Joe does his job, from soft and slow, to fast and hard, and other varieties. Even acoustic sometimes. As for Mike, when he does play, he plays really great. However, Billie Joe does the most work, and leaves Tre, and Mike to sit around for half of the album. We'll just say there's a lot less bass. When Tre has permission, he plays decent, and sometimes great. Nothing that special, but he gets it done. He shows a sure sign that he's not playing as interestingly as before, but he is a decent drummer(byWarning
his drumming would be absent or just a 1-2 beat). He does have talent, though. Despite far less bass, and a little bit less of drums, Billie's guitar, and additional instruments make this album better, instrumentally, than ever before. There are only a few tracks that aren't great in this respect.
The lyrics seem to be getting a tad better, and deeper. Whether it's about failure, sadness, love, happiness, or anger, Billie gets it across, all he needs to, and lets you now how he feels over 90% of the time, in this reviewer's eyes. Sometimes they're truthful, yet amusing. This album has really made me think. Including stuff about my past, my current life, what the future may bring, and my problems. The best part? 75% of the time, they are given in a happy, fairly loud way, along with the instruments sounding somewhat upbeat, and loud. In result, this album is easy to listen to when you're in a normal mood, yet gives you someone to agree with, when you're mad, or depressed. If you feel like you are caged up, without freedom, or you screwed something up, this may make you feel like you got out of the place you were once stuck in, or as though it wasn't your fault at all! Amazing. It can make you happy, and forget what you were upset about. In other words, it makes a good listen, no matter what mood you are in. Seriously.
To mention the singles individually, Nice Guys Finish Last
makes a good intro, and shows that they have changed. One of the singles for this album, also, it makes you expectant for an album of masterpieces. The others singles sound great as well, even the ones that aren't about how "nice guys finish last." The second track is another single, Hitchin' A Ride
. It's a song about being high, and the effects it can give you. It's one of the best moments of the album, and the main part of the album that sounds like the Stray Cats, particularly Stray Cat Strut
, or maybe even The Clash's London Calling
, and a few of their other songs. If you like Blood, Sex And Booze
, a song that would come on Warning
, 3 years later, you'll love this song. A few times, Billie Joe says, "1, 2... 1, 2, 3, 4," making you think it's going to explode into a loud, heavy chorus, yet the instruments start playing a tad louder. Just one of the several things that makes this a bizarre, and good Green Day song.
Track 4 is Redundant
, another single. It's a slow song, with a chorus that stands out particularly. It's about being stuck in the same pattern over and over, just not knowing what to say, and a girl. Like I said, the chorus is great, plus it will just plain never leave your head! It really kind of makes you think, as do most of the songs on the album. The last single to appear on this album, and undoubtedly its best single, is Good Riddance
. It seems to be a ballad about leaving another part of your life behind, or taking a new direction. Everything, down to the acoustic guitar, and deep lyrics is beautiful, and heartfelt. Not to sound redundant, but it really makes you think(pun intended). It even has a little violin in it. Amazing song, among the top 3 of the album. I know that Last Ride In
has a video, but I'm not exactly sure if it is a single. This is where the album has surf music in it. The guitar runs the song, with a rain-effect backing it, and a nice bassline, and good drums. It gets interesting when the horns come in, and is the strangest song on the album. I will not tell you the main element of the song, that makes it particularly strange. You have to hear it for yourself. If you have heard it, you know just what I mean.
There are several honorable non-singles, and I'll probably end up naming almost every song on the album, so I'll try to only mention the best of the best. Scattered
is a somewhat late 60's or early 70's-styled love/memory song. Except, it's made Green Day's way. Sort of like what you'd get if Green Day did a cover of Ringo Starr's Photograph
, sped it up a lot, modernized it, took out the piano and horn, and turned up the volume about 5 notches. While far louder and quicker, it still has the mysterious flow and rhythm, and lyrics like, "I got some scattered pictures lying on my bedroom floor," or "I wish you were here," still with fairly upbeat instrumentals. I have no reason not to love this song.
Platypus(I hate you)
is just one of the several varieties of songs on this album, and it is one of the two straight-up punk songs on here. After a few softer songs(not that they're bad, but an album filled with ballads just isn't Green Day), just when you think you're in for an album made up of ballads, this song is sort of a message that assures you that you are not in for a ton of ballads. Sort of like when you think you're in for one type of day, but then some unusual event takes place. Your genuine punk song, down to the quick and blaring, pumping intro, the convincing, loud chorus, verses that don't make much sense, but show hate and pride, and the insane, profaned bridge, made up of several vulgar swears, that when put together kept this song off of the lyric book. Thank you, Green Day.
is actually an outtake of Kerplunk
. For some reason, they did not think it deserved to make it to the album. They used it as a live song, to sing at concerts for a few years, and finally put it on Nimrod
. I can't see why it didn't make it to an album in the first place. Though the verses rarely stand out, it tells an interesting story of a girl with a peculiar name (obviously, Haushinka) who left, and went far away, and all he has is memories of her. The overly-catchy (in a good way) chorus is what really gets you liking it. The song has an overall bizarre sound, and is one of the many undiscovered gems on this album.
can likely be considered the building blocks of Hold On
, which would later appear on Warning
. If you love that song, you'll love this one. However, almost everyone hates them both. I am one of the few who actually love this song. Just like its future sequel, it has Billie Joe playing the harmonica. It speaks of how he needs to keep his mouth shut, because anything he says seems to cause problems(I can relate). The lyrics and harmonica are what really keep this song going, and give it its fuel. Great song, that fans just seem to hate. Very underrated track.
is a track directed toward a parent who sent Billie Joe a letter of concern. How could someone stop someone else from singing how they sing, and doing what they do? They couldn't. Take Back
is a short punk track, where Billie sounds like he's winning a battle. Maybe it's a sequel to Reject
? When you think about it, Platypus
sounds like it's opening an issue up about someone Billie hates, Reject
seems to be the main part of it, and Take Back
seems to be finishing something. Perhaps they all go together, but Green Day didn't want people to notice... Odd.
King For A Day
makes a good use of horns, and laughs at crossdressers. Though you don't notice it at first, it is extremely amusing. As I said before, the single, Good Riddance
, and one last track close out the album. Prosthetic Head
is not slow, but seems like a track laughing at someone, a little like F.O.D.
You'd think that not using the slow Good Riddance
as a final track would damn near ruin the album, but it just about works. Like Dookie
's finally, it seems to be resolving an issue. Amazingly, it worked perfectly fine that way.
is only flawed by two tracks, and one problem. All The Time
sounds like filler, at almost unbelievable levels. What you may call the prechorus is cool, but it's just fairly boring overall. Jinx
undoes the relaxation of Last Ride In
, and is surprisingly annoying, mainly because of a melody that's kind of screwed. It sounds a lot like No Pride
off of Insomniac
, but just isn't as good. Still, both of these songs are listenable. The only other problem is that the album isn't very long, yet has 18 tracks. In result, some of the songs are a tad too short. They do get to sink in, but just leave you wanting more. It's still not a major problem, at all.
is an excellent album, with very few flaws. It almost deserves 5/5. Seriously. Though it has its small problems, I feel it is Green Day's most underrated album, their best, and has the least problems. 3 normal rock instruments, plus additional ones, acoustic guitar, and great lyrics make a strong Green Day album.
PROS + Good Riddance
+ Last Ride In
+ Great lyrics
+ Many tracks
+ A good new direction
CONS - Jinx and All The Time... Maybe?
- Some songs should've been longer
Other Reccomended Listenings
King For A Day
4.5/5 Almost a classic.