It’s pretty easy to sum up Green Day’s first instalment of their punk rock trilogy — iUno!, iDos!, and iTré! respectively: playing it safe. The California punk rockers’ long-time collaborator Rob Cavallo — whose previous projects included Nimrod, Insomniac and American Idiot — produces these albums.
The fans will be happy with iUno!, especially anyone who loved Dookie and Warning (that is, anyone who disliked 21st Century Breakdown). There’s a hint of their old garage rock secret project Foxboro Hot Tubs on one of their lead singles, ‘Kill the DJ’. Meant to be dance-punk, the track is probably one of the radio-friendly tracks. ‘Nuclear Family’ opens the album with a guitar solo that shows that Green Day can carry on the style they left behind. Or at least the one they put away for a while.
iUno! has a jaded vibe, although that is not to say Green Day is lazy. The effort is there, but may be the next two albums will be better. It’s difficult to defend the senseless lyrics of Billie Joe Armstrong, but sometimes punk rock can be that way. ‘Just Let Yourself Go’ is a perfect case in point. ‘Fell For You’ has more nonsensical lyrics, seeming too stream-of-consciousness at times: “I’ll spend the night living in denial/Making paper planes just for a while. I'll crash into you, crash into you/Did you crash in my imagination too?”
It’s not so much a problem of musical simplicity as it is of foolish, absurd lyrics. It works sometimes, though. Like ‘Troublemaker’, which is repetitive but short so that it doesn’t overdo the same melody.
When ‘Oh Love’ closes the album, you wish they would stop repeating the same two lines for the last minute of the song.
It’s safe to say there is nothing radically different on ‘iUno!’ It’s classic Green Day, except it doesn’t pack the same punch as their previous efforts. They probably have a concept of some kind with the trilogy, but this one leaves a lot to be desired.
Bottomline: Classic Green Day but doesn’t pack the same punch as their previous efforts
iUno!; Green Day, EMI, Rs.395