Green Day: Tre!


Dan Bidikov, A&E Editor

Punk rock is a dead genre.  No one has made actual punk music for decades.   However, iTunes has mislabeled Green Day as punk since their first album, 39/Smooth.  While that might have passed as punk rock, the group has watered down their sound so much that with their latest album,  Tre!, they can officially be classified as pop.

Do not be alarmed—this article is not going to be a whiny diary entry about the lack of guts of most popular musicians.  This is a review of an album which, while not bad, suffers from false advertising.   Green Day promises its fans gritty, anti-establishment punk when all it has to offer is overproduced pop-rock.

The last in a trilogy of albums geared to teach Spanish-speakers basic arithmetic, Tre! sounds almost exactly like the rest of Green Day’s music.

Even the individual tracks have difficulty separating themselves from others.

The record, when taken from start to finish, sounds more like one forty-five minute unit of boring four chord rock and faux-controversial lyrics than individual songs.

In Tre!, Green Day has attempted to balance out edgy rock with mellow lost-love tunes.   The album opens with a ballad, “Brutal Love”, which is not as dynamic or as soulful as intended.   The next dramatic love song, “Drama Queen,” falls flat.

Boring vocals and uninspired lyrics detract from the catchy-yet-generic melodies.

There are a few more sentimental tracks on Tre!, and they all suffer from the same problems.

First, they do not make sense in context—sappy crooning emotional pieces clash with the harsh rock of tracks like “A Little Boy Named Train.”

However, Green Day never reaches an extreme of roughness or tenderness in their sound.   Tre! is extremely modest.

Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s interesting vocals have added a unique element to all of Green Day’s albums.

The talent of the band members can can not be discounted.  Typically, bassist Mike Dirnt backs up each track with a strong underlying bassline. However, his performances in Tre! are bland.

The songwriting is also weak, and funny characteristic quirks have been replaced with generic “meaningful lines.  Tre! is devoid of the classic Green Day character that has made their older music at the very least entertaining.

There is none of the signature style that separated Green Day from previous musical efforts.  In Tre!, they do not stand out among other middling pop rock bands.