So the Green Day trilogy comes to an end with iTre!, their third album in three months. It’s certainly a bold move by the California rockers. The earlier albums — iUno! and iDos! — had had only a handful of worthy songs, as is the case with iTre!
It starts out slow and keeps things mellow for a bit too long with the opening song ‘Brutal Love’. There’s nothing too special about the second track ‘Missing You’ either. At some point through this 12-track album, you begin to wonder whether frontman Billie Joe Armstrong just wants to write a piano rock melody, record it and then move on.
‘Drama Queen’ sees Armstrong take on the usual high school narrative about growing up. But then you hear ‘X-Kid’ and realise it’s proof that Green Day can still do punk, at least thematically. They do seem to have steered clear of political themes, but ‘99 Revolutions’ is an exception not only on iTre! but also the entire trilogy.
The six-and-a-half minute epic punk anthem ‘Dirty Rotten Bastards’ contains the only trace of their seventh album American Idiot. It kicks life into the album with good old fast wrecked punk rock tracing the exploits of Juliana Homicide, one of their typical characters. Some songs like ‘Little Boy Named Train’ save the album, although it seems like it would have fit into any of the band’s pre-2004 albums.
The band hasn’t forgotten its roots, but these three albums are a clear sign that the band has evolved; more pop punk and rock & roll rather than its original angry, sometimes jaded, punk songwriting. There’s still music for fans old and new, which is why the three albums succeed to a certain level. That said, it’s nearly impossible to look at iTre! on its own. It’s an unremarkable play-it-safe way to end the trilogy. Here’s hoping Green Day take a well-deserved break and return in a few years, because, for now, they’ve given listeners more than enough to last them a while.
Bottomline: Only a handful of worthy songs.