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Saviors

Here, I collected some impressions and reflections while listening to Saviors Green Day’s latest album.

This note is a unified and revised version of this Fediverse thread.

Premise

It is no news that Green Day are becoming more and more watered down as the years pass. I am sad about this, but not disappointed. In the end, Billie Joe is an asshole and it is very hard to be happy for the band being successful.

Still, Green Day always had a special spot in my heart, being my first true love in terms of music. I remember vividly asking guitar teacher, back in 2013: what is some true cool rock music I could listen to and then play, too? I think you would really like Green Day, he said.

That was it. I downloaded all their discography up to then, and I learned every single song by heart.

This is why I have so conflicting feelings about this band, now.


I would define The American Dream is Killing me as compelling. Not that this song contains anything particularly clever or disruptive, but in the current US political environment it surely does not hurt to listen to a song like that. It is nice and well made, I must say I relatively like it.

Nevertheless, it is exactly while listening to it as a single that I realized the album would delude me. musically it does not have any fresh sound or crazy impromptu, as I was glad to hear in Father of All Motherfuckers (which I loved, by the way).

Father of All Motherfuckers was nothing exceptional already, but at least it had this whimsical fresh sound that you would not expect from Green Day, and that led me to think: wow, these are the new Green Day… they are experimenting, and a new chapter of their career is now opened. I could not be more wrong: those three fuckers were good enough to fool me into thinking that those new sounds and vibes à la Nothing But Thieves were part of a greater frame, of an artistic plan. Instead, I now believe they simply warped some of their older sounds, but because of messing around, not with an actual purpose.

Then there is that thing. I feel like an insensitive prick writing that thing, but I must do it. It is terrible that Billie Joe’s father passed out when he was still very young, I do not want to question the genuineness of the sorrow and the profoundness of the pain of a son who lost his father. Indeed, Wake Me Up When September Ends is a wonderful song, one of the best and most acclaimed of the band, and it deserves all of its success. Still, this does not mean that in several decades of your career when you get personal and intimate it is only to dig up those same old feelings. It’s ok that by remembering your father you also want to write something deep for your spoiled son, Billie. Then write him a fucking letter.

The only reason why I don’t feel like destroying this album is that it wants to say something, and that something is a political message that is worth spreading and reflecting upon. Not that the lyrics contain any radically meaningful concept worth of note, but I believe they are what make this album salvageable. From every other point of view, though, I do not spot anything new, anything at all.

In an era of empty music driven by money, I hate to ultimately evaluate an album based on the fact that it says something, rather than doing it on the basis of how well it says it. Having a message should be the natural, quintessential, feature of a music production. It is not anymore.

In my mental admiration scale, Green Day sit at barely one inch from failure and oblivion. That inch is only made of political commitment, focused anger, and of course affection to their legacy. I hope they cling to that, or I will not devote to Green Day’s next album as much time as I wasted with this one.

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