Review Summary: Channeling Foxboro Hot Tubs, Green Day create a solid record that offers some memorable moments, as well as some really embarrassing ones.
The second installment in the trilogy, iDOS!
, is as mentioned by the band themselves, Foxboro Hot Tubs' second record disguised as Green Day. The party vibe is prominent and while the band does offer a few pleasant surprises along the way, they manage to embarrass themselves too.
, the whole record is pretty much hit or miss and fairly inconsistent. Some tunes offer memorable hooks and are really fun, while a few are just flat or even cringe worthy. Even though the songs here suit the lightweight, twangy guitars more than those on ¡UNO!
, this polished sound production still kills a lot of the much needed punch their earlier records have. As a result, "Stop When The Red Lights Flash", one of the highlights, doesn't translate that well on the record (the live version released on Youtube a month ago sounds really good), but nevertheless, it's still the best on iDOS!
. The fast paced, trashy rhythm is infectious and the pummeling, repetitive chorus ("I'll make you surrender") easily gets stuck in the listener's head. Whether is Foxboro Hot Tubs or Green Day, it doesn't matter, because the track is downright fun all the way.
The pop sensibility is most visible on the simple yet effective first single, "Stray Heart", one of Green Day's catchiest songs since, at least, American Idiot
. Musically, "Stray Heart" resembles "Fell For You" off ¡UNO!
, with a classic rock 'n' roll feel and some straight-out-of-a-teenager-diary lyrics, Billie Joe promising "I'll never stray again from you[..]Everything I want/I want from you/But I just can't have you". Personal or not, the song is nicely crafted and serves as a lovely pop song. Also, tracks like "Makeout Party", "Lady Cobra" or "Lazy Bones" are almost equally entertaining and keep the snotty party vibe iDOS!
aims at, distracting the listener from the worse moments scattered throughout it. The latter has the same chords as American Idiot
's "Give Me Novocaine" only sped up, but manages to save itself, becoming enjoyable by adding various little tweaks distancing itself from the aforementioned ballad.
Unfortunately, as expected, some songs here are just plainly disappointing and drag the whole album down. The one minute opener "See You Tonight" acts as an unnecessary intro to the record, as the listener can guess the whole action only by reading the track list and spotting the second track, "*** Time" (which, by the way, is better than expected; not that catchy or dirty as it could've been given the title, but at least it's dumb fun). "Wild One" is just another track idolizing that perfect girl in Billie Joe's visions, who's been present on every Green Day album since American Idiot
. Sometimes sanctified as an unsung hero, sometimes a rebel, it always feels as if the frontman has the same description consisting of abstract metaphors and comparisons regardless of circumstances (e.g., "Give up on Jesus/Forever the Venus/All dressed up with nowhere to go"). It worked for a while, but now he's just recycling the same theme. Furthermore, Green Day's attempt at swag this time is "Nightlife", a tepid, laid-back jam, that features some monotone vocals, complete with a rap provided by Lady Cobra of Mystic Knights of the Cobra. The collaboration doesn't work in any possible way, ending really embarrassing for the band. Perhaps they should have just left this song hidden on the shelf and never see the light of day, as the last thing their music needed now was rapping.
The childish lyrics become another negative aspect, since they continue to plague Billie Joe as he delivers his sloppy, solo acoustic mourn "Amy", dedicated to the late Amy Winehouse. The instrumental is decent, but the lyrics, acting like a eulogy, feel superficial and inappropriate ("No one really knows about your soul/And I barely even know your name"), all leading up to the deceiving chorus "Amy don't you go/I want you around/Singin' woah please don't go/Do you wanna be a friend of mine"". It all feels as if he's 12 again, asking for some girl in the neighborhood to come out and play with him instead of a serious, nostalgic tune.
In the end, iDOS!
doesn't fare much better than ¡UNO!
, but gets away by not setting its standards high, relying more on a loose atmosphere and the fun element (even if it fails at times). This way, the album gets away by being more indulgent in a positive way. Still, besides "Stop When The Red Lights Flash", "Stray Heart" and maybe a couple more tunes, most of the material found here does not have the strength to stand the test of time. It's clear that the guys had a lot of fun creating iDOS!
, but this insane decision taken to release three records in such a short span of time involuntarily compromises the quality of the output. Again most of the songs rely on one musical idea, some clearly showing Green Day are able to create great songs, but on such a bloated 37 song affair, they get lost in the sea of the average ones. Long time Green Day and Foxboro Hot Tubs fans will enjoy iDOS!
more than the casual ones, but this might be the best they get from the trilogy as these guys fare better when creating immediate records rather than over long, pompous ones such as 21st Century Breakdown