ALBUM REVIEW: Green Day – ¡Tré!

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Artist: Green Day
Album: ¡Tre!
Genre: Punk(ish)

Realistically speaking, following my first listen to ¡Tré!, the third installment of the latest Green Day trilogy, I should have rejoiced with a sizable party of family and friends. Having embraced and approved of all 12 of the tracks on the album, I honestly should be god damned overjoyed. I probably should have celebrated the return of the Green Day of old with a Macy’s Day Parade (see what I did there?). Yet, in the long run, I have stumbled away from this album with more questions for Green Day than answers from them.

I am still at a total loss for this collection as a whole. I still struggle to wrap my head around the necessity of ¡Uno! and ¡Dos!. Upon the release of ¡Tré! and the obvious reaffirmation that this band has not faded into has-been status,  I see no reason to not lift a few quality tracks from the starting two albums and junk the trash of the trilogy. However, I don’t own a record label and I’m not the one in the studio. I don’t have the pressure of millions of fans living on and dying over the new release. I simply am a man with a soapbox, a thesaurus and an ego big enough to assume my opinion on the quality of a release matters to anyone.

Therefore, rather than linger on the train wreck that this Spanish-counting album project has been, I have decided to simply breakdown and praise all 12 of the tracks on ¡Tré!.

The album opens with “Brutal Love.” The track features a polished sound, reminiscent of a vintage 1950’s sock-hop sound. The cut remains steadfast in the sound for the first three minute mark before bothering to make reference to the fact that Green Day is a punk band. Regardless of the departure in sound, “Brutal Love” remains a quality opening track.

This is the part of the album where all collective Green Days fans will scream in unison, “Thank fucking god.”

If “Brutal Love” is the track sent to comfort fans about Green Day’s return, then “Missing You,” the second song on the album, is the glue reminding fans why they fell in love with the band in the first place. Possessing an overly power-pop sound, the track makes light of their influence over bands like Bowling for Soup, Sum 41 and the like. Hell, Butch Walker has made a name for himself out of crafting songs with this exact signature. “Missing You” is ultimately the sound from which a lot of people have made a career. More importantly, this is the sound from which Green Day made their career.

Very straight-forward and driven, the album’s junior offering, “8th Avenue Serenade” is approached in a different and interesting manner.  The hooks and riffs are all over the map, twitching and shifting beyond the boundaries of the grid. They are also solid and catchy. The most important aspect to focus on here is that fact that “8th Avenue Serenade” represents the album’s  third song in a row with hooks and catch. That’s called a winning streak.

Speaking of winning, ¡Tré!  features a stint with: Billie Joe as a crooner. “Drama Queen” could easily be described as Green Day at the Hotel Café. Both the acoustic guitar and drums are simple but effective. The piano, however, stands out and is rather beautiful. It builds before following into a huge guitar solo. Overall, the song works well.
The album’s fifth track, “X-Kid” provides some insight and thoughts on growing up and growing old. The band indirectly makes lights of the changes and shifts throughout the last 20 years. Despite this, and somewhat ironically, this track could be placed on any of their previously released albums. The track is witty and smart, but manages to balance the underlining anger hidden beneath the great punk bass lines. Then the band rides that aggression into “Sex, Drugs & Violence,” the album’s hardest track. The song lingers are close to being a Dookie track as anything I have heard in quite a while. Full of great one-liners, possessive drum riffs and the best chorus on the album, the song demands respect.

Green Day back-slides a touch with “Little Boy Named Train.” With a country-punk sound whose lyrics seem a touch weak in the chorus, the song represents the lowest point of ¡Tré!. Thankfully, the song still remains heads above any track on both ¡Uno! or ¡Dos!. Like many tracks on the album, the song has the band’s signature bold drum fills and massive guitars.

“Amanda,” the album’s eighth track is my favorite of the Green Day “girl name” songs. Again, the song has a 1950s feel to it. Like “X-Kid,” the band makes references to the band, or at least the band’s members being different than they were 15 years ago. You see that, readers? They know it. They’ve admitted it. Let’s finally stop talking about it.

No, really. Let’s change the subject. I’ll even give you a topic: The Clash. Go.

“Walk Away” is that typical tribute to The Clash found at least once per release that Green Day puts out.  Building slowly, the song is an uphill battle into a clusterfuck of fast drum and bass. “Dirty Rotten Bastards” and “99 Revolutions” follow suit at times, the two songs deep with hints of older cuts like “Minority”. The songs manage to reinvent themselves multiple times, often boasting an arena rock feel. If there were ever a spot on the album that serves as an epic reminder of why Green Day must be in the conversation to be considered as the voice of a generation, it is this couplet of tracks. The band has not only spoken for the MTV generation, but also the generation that ruined it through their support of reality tv.

Having effectively set the stage on an almost flawless album, Green Day swings for the fences with the swan song of ¡Tré!. Penning a true cigarette lighter song, the Billie Joe Brothers band takes the high road writing a flawless and beautiful closing track with Beatles-style musical breakdowns. Throughout “The Forgotten,” piano and vocals rise above the swell of breathtaking string compositions. The song is dripping with comparisons to “Eleanor Rigby” and “Across the Universe.” Put simply, if any song were to highlight and dogtag the growth process of a band often faulted with not sounding like 20 years ago, it is “The Forgotten.” I challenge you to play this song in the background while trying to debate its irrelevance in their catalog. Seriously, if you can disprove it as the best song on the trilogy I will personally purchase all three disks for you.

That is how much I believe in this song, this disk and thankfully this band. We were touch-and-go for a while, but with ¡Tré!  it looks like we might be back on solid ground.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by: Joshua Hammond

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  • http://twitter.com/melissaswebster Melissa Webster

    Oh wow. Great review! Though I accept your challenge and stand by my pick of Fell For You as the best song in the trilogy. :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=82403948 Josh Hammond

    And tell me why and how it is better?

  • junierizzle

    I read your reviews for Uno and Dos and I disagreed. But I agree with you on Tre being a great album. I know you are an old school GD fan and I really am glad that you finally liked one of these albums. I agree about “A little Boy Named Train” It’s one of the weaker tracks in the entirely trilogy, that one and Nightlife. However I find it hard to believe that you think it’s better than anything on Uno and Dos. I know you hated Uno and Dos but come on, better than Nuclear Family, Rusty James, Oh love, Angel Blue, Carpe Diem, Stay the Night, Lazy Bones, WIld One, Baby Eyes, etc.

    I already have all of the albums so I won’t take you up on your challenge. I’ll just say that The Forgotten is one of my favorites and it is a great song. I honestly hadn’t really thought about my favorite song of the entire trilogy.

    I loved all of the albums, but it’s actually one work. As a whole I think it is an amazing accomplishment. The only songs that I didn’t like are as I mentioned, Nightlife and Little Boy named Train. So 35 out of 37 songs ain’t bad. It’s not surprising that TRE is the one you liked. I always felt that TRE would be the album that GD would have released if they only released one album. Having said that I’m glad they released the trilogy. One day I’ll feel like listening to UNO, another day TRE and the next day Dos.

  • StaticNoise79

    Hey man. Me again! Good review. But then they have all been good, whether or not I completely agreed. Tre is a more compete album, and it finishes off the trilogy excellently. They have moved on, and their progression through the three albums is juxtaposed by their lives and their journey over the past 20 year’s. None of the three albums would work on their own. I still prefer more songs on Dos, but from front to back, Tre is brilliant, a more eclectic compilation that is joy to my ears. I guess we agree on something about the trilogy then, I’d probably give it a 9 too! One thing I do disagree on tho, is the song ‘sex drugs and violence’. The song is good, but in the chorus the way he delivers the words ‘English, Math and Science’ digs at me. Sounds too juvenile. Almost annoying. But I can live with that! Check out this angle, from the Authority website. A good view on the albums, and like you, he knows his stuff, especially when it concerns Green Day http://www.greendayauthority.com/news/3793/

  • http://twitter.com/melissaswebster Melissa Webster

    Oh sorry! I just realized you’d responded. This is strictly my opinion, but I’ll give it a shot. The Forgotten is a great song and I love it, but it’s completely orchestrated to intentionally BE a great song, perfectly composed on every level for the critics and other commercial entities. Though it all works beautifully together, the lyrics fall short in some ways and they feel forced. Fell For You, on the other hand, is brilliant in its simplicity. There’s nothing orchestrated or intentional about it. It just is, and it’s beautiful, and it is obviously something that was purely inspired from a place of passion and heart. And it works like that. So perfectly. To me, that it was something truly inspired and NOT intended, yet still manages to be an exceptional song, makes it even more relevant as a Grammy contender. Though I know it won’t be because Green Day (a huge mistake in my opinion) didn’t release it as a single.

  • StaticNoise79

    I’m not a lover of Fell For You, but I see exactly what you mean. The Forgotten, also, is ok, but I can see your comparisons make sense. Going to have to listen to them both one after another now!

  • http://twitter.com/melissaswebster Melissa Webster

    Haha! Me too.