(Photo courtesy of: Rolling Stone) “Green Day returns strong with new album “Saviors” after a four year hiatus.”
Nearly four years after Green Day’s last release, “Father of All…”, flopped with fans and critics alike, the punk-rock legends have returned with “Saviors”, their 14th studio album.
Green Day have been together since the late 1980s, with the lineup consisting of singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool since 1990.
Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the group’s hit album “American Idiot”, “Saviors” continues the former album’s political tone. The album opens with “The American Dream is Killing Me,” a stadium-rock anthem reminiscent of the title track of “American Idiot.” Where “American Idiot” cried over the “redneck agenda” that was capturing headlines in 2004, the new song mentions “TikTok and taxes,” bringing the group’s anger at their country into the current decade.
“Look Ma, No Brains” was released as the album’s second single and has gained attention from its use in a Taco Bell commercial. The song is a wave of pop-punk energy, with Armstrong referring to himself as a knucklehead while celebrating his love affair with a deviant.
On “1981,” the group turns the clock back 40 years, filling the lyrics with references to the 1980s. Armstrong sings about the Cold War, communism and cocaine, all of which captured headlines in the decade.
“Bobby Sox” is a love song with a punk twist. Armstrong repeatedly pursues a love interest, while promising them a walk through a cemetery. Throughout the track Armstrong goes back and forth between referring to a male and female love interest.
“Dilemma” and “Goodnight Adeline” are sister songs. In “Dilemma,” Armstrong—who went to rehab and became sober in 2012—admits to being drunk again and wanting to drink poison. In “Goodnight Adeline,” Armstrong sings about returning to sobriety while walking on Adeline St, in his hometown of Oakland.
If any track on “Saviors” reflects on life in modern times, it would be “Living in the ‘20s.” Armstrong sings about mass shootings, murder hornets and wildfires over an intense guitar riff.
Throughout “Saviors,” the band shows off their musical prowess. Armstrong’s guitars are stronger than ever and Dirnt lays down a strong bass line throughout. Cool’s drumming keeps everything in time and sets the tempo of each track.
Vocally, Armstrong sounds the best he has in years. His voice sounds as strong as it did during the “21st Century Breakdown” era, with no signs of the 15 years that have passed since that album’s release.
“Saviors” proves that Green Day should never be counted out. The failure of “Father of All…” lead many fans to think that the band could never recapture their past glory. This was all but confirmed when the Hella Mega Tour setlist, supporting “Father of All…,” did not feature a single track from the album.
However, “Saviors” is an extremely strong return to form, echoing the best parts of past albums while setting its own pace and adding to the band’s legacy, rather than subtracting from it.
Overall Grade: B