originally posted on Wednesday, 3 April 2013
We’ve done ¡Uno!, then ¡Dos! , finally, part three of the recent Green Day trilogy. ¡Tré!, appropriately featuring drummer Tre Cool on the cover, was said to be the album to feature the “epic” songs. Billie JoeArmstrong described the three albums accordingly: The first album is like you’re on your way to the party, the second album is like you’re at the party and going full swing, and the third album you’re just cleaning up the mess that was made. While it is true that this is the only of the three albums to feature instruments other than the basic three instruments needed to make a rock album, it is not filled with epics, but it does feel like its cleaning up a mess.
The first track from the album, Brutal Love is in fact one of the longer songs featured on any of the three albums, and yes it does have some “epic” proportions to it. The entire song has the vibe of a 1950’s du-wop love song; starting off, like so many songs by the band, with Billie Joe and his guitar, with the rest of the band eventually chiming in. This time the inclusion of a string section makes the song immediately different from the rest of the trilogy. Though it is a very curious song to start an album off with, it really is a great and passionate song.
The album then leads in to a more familiar sound by the band. Missing You picks up the pace ever so slightly. Another love song in the bands catalog, it is a great treat for long time dedicated fans of the band, but for first time listeners, I’m not sure this track would convince its listener that this is a great album. One thing that should be noted is that this song sounds more like a classic rock influenced song rather than a punk song, which does make it stand out.
This pace continues on the next track, 8th Avenue Serenade, which also has a bit of a classic rock feel, but could have been a lot better if it were longer than 2:37. This track, however, is one I’d recommend for first time listeners. A Little Boy Named Train, a song that had good intentions with its lyrics but the message kind of got botched up in translation, also has similar pace to it.
The second single released from the album, X-Kid still doesn’t propel the album to great heights in terms of speed and aggression. Rather it remains even a little slower than Missing You. This time, instead of incorporating classic rock influence, there is some obvious alternative rock influence, something that can be heard in Green Day songs dating back to 1994’s Dookie (particularly the track Pulling Teeth). The song was a well thought out single, because it is among the best songs on the album. Walk Away is another similarly paced track that also features obvious alternative rock influence.
Drama Queen (which comes before X-Kid on the album) brings the pace of the album down rather than up. This time Billie Joe opts to start the song off with an acoustic guitar, which is heard throughout the song. This time around, the band incorporates a well placed piano solo, before a rather heartfelt guitar solo by Jason White.
Sex, Drugs & Violence FINALLY brings the albums pace up, ever so slightly. It doesn’t have the aggression one might hope for in a punk song, but at least you can move to it faster than previous tracks on the album. This track, for what I’m pretty sure is only the second time in the bands catalogue, features a small lead vocal part by bassist Mike Dirnt. Though the next song on the album (A Little Boy Named Train) doesn’t continue this pace, the song after it, Amanda does feature a fast punk pace to it. The song still lacks aggression, but you start to get the point by now that the band is purposely leaving out aggressive songs this time around.
The band takes the “epic” title they gave upon the album seriously with the track Dirty Rotten Bastards; the longest song out of the whole trilogy by a landslide, clocked in at 6:26. This song features the multi-parted arrangement similar to what the band used on such tracks as Jesus of Suburbia fromAmerican Idiot, only this time the multiple parts of the song don’t have individual titles, making it feel more like a song and not just a bunch of songs in one. This song is the long awaited aggressive track that the album has been missing. This aggression follows in to the next track, 99 Revolutions; this track has an even faster pace and has the nice loud drum sound that we know Tre Cool for.
The album ends with the album’s first single, The Forgotten, which was featured on the soundtrack for one of the Twilight movies. The song is the only song out of the trilogy to start off with, and predominantly feature a piano. It takes a minute and a half for any other instruments to start playing (with the exception of a string section in the background). No guitars are heard in the song until the guitar solo three and a half minutes in.
Green Day chose to end the trilogy in a somewhat clever fashion. Though ¡Uno! and ¡Dos! are the punk albums that fans have wanted for a number of years, ¡Tré! Sounds more like an album such as 21stCentury Breakdown. I wouldn’t recommend this album to someone looking for a pop punk album recorded by a pop-punk band, but for more open minded music lovers, the kind that do see the excellent musicianship in an album like 21st Century Breakdown, this album is more for them. The experimentation with classic rock, alternative and even du-wop make this a musical landmark for the band. As a whole album it is not the greatest but individual tracks from the album are ones to cherish.
Now to conclude the trilogy officially, I would like to say that this was a pretty interesting idea by the band. Sure some of the songs may have at times felt over used and maybe releasing so many songs at once may not have been the best idea, but the band pulled it off. They released one album full of familiar Green Day tunes, then another filled with more heavy in your face tunes and then finally just brought it home with some musical excellence. It was also nice to see guitarist Jason White get a proper credit as the fourth almost official member of the band after being a touring and studio recording artist with the band for well over a decade.
“Amanda” – This song shows how “punk” the album can get while retaining its aggression. Sure not many songs sound like this song on the album, it’s hardly comparable and may give some first time listeners the wrong idea as to what the album sounds like, but on an album with such diverse musical styles as this one, that makes selecting a highlight a tough task. This is the first real true pop-punk song on the album that doesn’t really feature much outside musical style influence.
7 (Out of 10)
|“8th Avenue Serenade”||2:36|
|“Sex, Drugs & Violence”||3:31|
|“A Little Boy Named Train”||3:37|
|“Dirty Rotten Bastards”||6:26|