Album Review: Green Day – Revolution Radio

By Maria Lubanovic, Contributor

[Reprise; 2016]

Rating: 5.5/10

Key Tracks: ”Revolution Radio,” “Still Breathing”

Wait, Green Day is still together?

Revolution Radio is pop-punk geniuses Green Day’s 12th album. This year, the band turned 26 years old and still sound the same: literally, the same. Overall, Revolution Radio feels like Green Day got together and said, “Let’s make a Green Day album.”

Although none of these new songs will ever be as iconic as “American Idiot” or “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, there are still songs on the album that are ambitious and reminiscent of their younger years. With pounding power chords and guitar-heavy themes, “Somewhere New” opens the album with a dynamic punch after a delicate acoustic opening. The only thing it lacks is something deep to say, as the ideas are fragmented and disoriented. It’s kind of tragic, considering the music behind it was so strong. This is the case for many of the tracks on this album.

“Bang Bang”, the first single on the album, is meant to be a representation of a mass shooter, but without knowing that, it just seems like another anthem of an oppressed person, or someone seeking fame, though who they are is not very clear. “Revolution Radio” is based on the Black Lives Matter movement, but it lacks the direct connections to the movement, opting for general references to activism instead. It does have a great guitar solo though, and “Bang Bang” has an awesome drum break.

The best track by far is “Still Breathing,” a meaningful and longing melody with a theme of survival and repeating the idea that “I’m still alive” and “Making my way to you.” The chorus is a racing, guitar-oriented banger. It’s the only song on the album that is anywhere close to perfect. It has feeling and it has focus; things that the other tracks on the album just don’t deliver.

Unfortunately, Revolution Radio is just another average Green Day album. It’s better than ¡UNO!, ¡DOS!, ¡TRÉ!, their trio of albums from 2012, but it’s still not very groundbreaking. It’s an album of songs we have already heard before, and it has its failings, especially with lyrics that fall flat and a failed promise to “kill pop-punk.” It lacks the feeling of revolution, and flatlines when it comes to creating something new and exciting.

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