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With the title track to their upcoming 12th studio album, “Revolution Radio,” Green Day attempt to reconnect with their roots. The song’s goal appears to be to reignite the protest spirit of “American Idiot” (2004) while simultaneously going back to the band’s roots with a distinctly ’90s punk sound. If the entirety of the album is anything like the title track, however, we’re in for a major disappointment. “Revolution Radio” has an extremely unoriginal and predictable sound that—coupled with lyrics that are similar in quality to those written by a Disney boy band—fails to bring Green Day anywhere close to the magic they created in their heyday.
The song begins with a guitar riff that sounds like something out of “Basket Case,” reminiscent of Green Day’s distinctly punk tone. However, the song quickly becomes painfully repetitive. With a simplistic verse-chorus-verse-chorus scheme, the song lacks the band’s unique bridges and instead takes on the structure of a pop song rather than that of a punk-rock song. It’s almost as though Green Day found a decent sound they liked and decided to just roll with it, without any attempt to build on that sound and develop it into something truly worthwhile. By midway through the song, the guitar riff is overly chaotic and trite.
Lines such as “legalize the truth” and “we will be seen but not be heard”sound as though they were written by an angry eighth grader. In the past, the band epitomized the anti-establishment and rebellious music of the 21st century. Now, “Revolution Radio” tries too hard and feels forced. It lacks the natural quality of Green Day’s older music.
“Revolution Radio” misses the mark. However, the title track has the right goals in mind when attempting to emulate prior success. Green Day need to use their old methods to once again be innovative, something that above all “Revolution Radio” fails at. It is truly boring.
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