UG Team, on november 17, 2012 5 of 19 people found this review helpful
Sound: Still with us? Good. You've had a month and a half to take in the lastGreen Day album, and in that time you could have listened to it 1,861 times, made 25,440 cups of tea or read roughly a tenth of the news about Billie Joe Armstrong breaking down and checking into rehab. Somewhat overshadowed by other publicity, the first album in Green Day's set of three was a dull day at the office, reacquainting audiences with the "classic" formula after a decade of heady rock opera dramatics. Following a quick reflection period it's time to turn our attention to "¡Dos!" and see what's really going on with this trilogy idea.
Put it this way: they haven't split the material into three parts for stylistic reasons. "¡Dos!" is very similar to its predecessor in distilling the catchy power chord pop to a very basic form and keeping the quirkier stuff to a few select tracks. There are a couple of real stinkers among them, though; "F--k Time" and "Nightlife" provide exactly the embarrassing ramblings we would expect from a drunkard rockstar having a very public midlife crisis. Also disappointing is the confirmation of Mike Dirnt's lost influence on bass barely a peep from a player who for many years was at the top of the punk game. Despite this, things do really get kicking on "Lazy Bones" and "Ashley" which, like many of the best Green Day tracks of recent years, are strong enough in substance that they could weasel their way onto "Dookie" or "Insomniac" if they wanted, cosmetic differences notwithstanding. // 7
Lyrics: Reading along with the liner notes is like moving through the rooms at a seedy Hollywood cast party. We start soberly and optimistically, go through all the necessary ego and debauchery (the name "Makeout Party" speaks for itself, as does its refrain of "Kiss Me There") and ultimately end on a sad, anti-climactic note with "Amy", a heartfelt dedication to the late Amy Winehouse who was herself a victim of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether "¡Dos!" is celebration or satire if it is celebration then the Winehouse tribute was rather misguided - but either way the strongest moments occur when Armstrong pulls himself away from the party and sings from the heart, on "Lazy Bones", "Stray Heart" or the aforementioned "Amy". // 7
Overall Impression: The band seem undecided on whether they want to go for the big fan-service and "return to roots" or cling onto some of the high concept elements that brought them so much success. "¡Dos!" is a quick fix - thin on substance and prone to filler but good fun for what it's worth. I'm not sure if we're any closer to figuring out why there's going to be three albums of this stuff but there is, at least, a selection of good songs in there to hang your ears on until "¡Tre!" completes the picture in December.
jacobtheimpaler, on november 21, 2012 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Dos!" is the second part of Green Day's highly ambitious "Uno! Dos! Tr!" trilogy. As the band wrote new material, they found that they had written very diverse songs that could be grouped together based on sound, genre, and theme. "Uno!", the trilogy's opening album, contained songs with a back-to-basics power pop/pop punk sound. This album, on the other hand, is meant to reflect the 60's party garage/pop sound of Green Day's side project "Foxboro Hot Tubs" while also including new experiments in Hip-Hop/Rap ("Nightlife") and soul/blues ("Amy"). As a result, "Dos!" manages to be diverse and original while still retaining that distinct Green Day sound. Sound wise, Dos! Is unlike anything the band has ever released: the band eschews the big, dry Marshall guitar tone found on "Dookie" and "American Idiot" in favor of a fuzzy and more menacing version of the guitar sound found on "Uno!" The record is also much noisier than the band's previous releases, as there is quite a bit of guitar and microphone feedback on tracks like "Makeout Party" and "Wow! That's Loud". It's not quite the heavy guitar assault found on "Insomniac", but it is much, much darker than "Uno!" This time around, Billie Joe Armstrong sees himself playing eccentric lead guitar alongside his typical trashy rhythm, and several songs contain his best solos since the 1989 EP "1000 Hours". Mike Dirnt's bass is heavy, melodic, and unapologetic, and at times the mighty growl from his Fender Precision Bass seems to cave in your headphones or speakers. Drummer Tr Cool is also at the top of his game here, delivering his signature bombastic-but-precise rhythms and Keith Moon-like drum lines. Jason White rounds out the quartet's rhythm section with his strict rhythm guitar, balancing out the tight but energetic sound. Rob Cavallo's production also works well, and unlike in "Uno!" the production does not undermine the album's raunchy intentions, creating an exceptional audio experience. The album manages to mostly sound like the soundtrack to a party, full of wildness and vitality. The noise and musical diversity mostly succeed, although they will not appeal to all, as some songs will be acquired tastes and the album is not as immediately accessible as the poppier "Uno!". // 8
Lyrics: If you felt that the lyrics found on "Uno!" were too upfront, then "Dos!" is sure to please. Although the band has given this album an energetic and trashy tone, don't be fooled by the party exterior. Songs like "Nightlife", "Wow! That's Loud", "Lady Cobra", "Ashley", and "Baby Eyes" are absolutely bathed in darkness and metaphor; as they allude to personal demons, temptation, sex, drugs, and, to quote "Stop When The Red Lights Flash", ultra-violence. The lyrics of "Stray Heart" and "Lazy Bones" convey tone and emotion very well, and of the most lyrically straight forward songs, "Makeout Party" proves its worth. Several songs ("F*Ck Time", "Stop When The Red Lights Flash") are not lyrically remarkable, but they prove to be catchy nonetheless; the former's lyrics serving their purpose as a fun and lighthearted "joke" song and the latter's being repetitive but infectious. The lyrical (and vocal) spotlight of album, however, is "Amy", the band's heartfelt ode to fallen singer Amy Whinehouse; a track layered with powerful atmosphere and somber emotion.
In terms of singing, Armstrong once again proves his worth as a vocalist here; singing, screaming, and even moaning his way to the front of the mix. Like in "Uno!", he provides his own pitch-perfect harmonies on the record, something I found disappointing as I am quite the fan of Mike Dirnt's signature backing vocals. Reverb and delay effects on Armstrong's voice are subtle, and on certain tracks they help achieve a very 60's microphone sound. Rapper Lady Cobra from the band Mystic Knights Of The Cobra also makes an appearance on the highly experimental "Nightlife", where the band forays into a hip-hop sound. Her voice comes off as sexy and seductive, and her innuendo-filled rap manages to be metaphorical while also being quite light-hearted and fun. However, despite the undeniable darkness, she may fall flat with some, especially those who are not open to the idea of Green Day engaging in hip-hop and rap. // 9
Overall Impression: Track by track breakdown with description and opinion/score.
01. "See You Tonight" - the album starts off with an unorthodox acoustic folk song, very "Warning" like. Billie Joe sings of wanting to see someone special, channeling Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles in the process. Short but sweet, it's a great theatrical set up.
02. "F*Ck Time" - starting off the party with pure rock n' roll riffing and heavy blues solos, this tune originated as a song meant for Green Day's side project the Foxboro Hot Tubs. It's meant to be a stupid and fun joke song, and it manages to be just that. Not everyone will agree with it, but I enjoy it quite a bit.
03. "Stop When The Red Lights Flash" - This one starts with a great hook that leads into a high energy explosion. Lyrics allude to "A Clockwork Orange" ("I'm like ultra-violence/I'll kill it if you want me to"). It's repetitive, but solid. "I make you surrender" will be engraved in your brain for days.
04. "Lazy Bones" - I wasn't impressed with the preview of this tune a while back, but it ends up being the first stand-out song on the album. Crisp guitars hook in while Armstrong chimes in excellent lyrics of desperation and tiredness. Top notch harmonies. The melody and opening riff quote Green Day songs "Favorite Son" and "Give Me Novacaine", but it's better than both of those songs.
05. "Wild One" - a reflective and metaphorical love song that has dark cult imagery. Menacing guitar bends build up to a solid pop-rock song. The 1960's style harmonies are great and the solo adds tasteful melody. However, it's hurt by its pacing and length.
06. "Makeout Party" - 'Turn the fuzz on and rock' is the motto for this stand out. The track succeeds on every level: great energy, raunchy lyrics, fantastic instrumental riffing, amazing bass tone, ridiculous drumming, powerful singing, and a neck strangling guitar solo to boot. It's dirty and loud rock n' roll through and through and it more than succeeds at being a fun garage track.
07. "Stray Heart" - The album's lead single, this one is another keeper. The song works as a pure 60's bubblegum pop track akin to the songs on "Stop Drop And Roll!". It was originally slated to appear on "Tr!" but was moved up. Every aspect of Green Day is atop here. Mostly original, even if the bass line is a bit derivative.
08. "Ashley" - a standard but solid punk tune. It manages to disguise pleas of sobriety and drug use with blistering down strokes. More great harmonies. Songs like this are the band's bread and butter, and Green Day doesn't disappoint here.
09. "Baby Eyes" - another standard but solid punk song to follow up "Ashley". The main riff is dark and ominous, and it hooks you in following Armstrong's delayed "Go Go Go!" It echoes Social Distortion; I wouldn't be surprised if I heard Mike Ness singing it. As mentioned before, the lyrics are murky and even a bit unexpected. It seems like a superior version of "Loss Of Control" from "Uno!".
10. "Lady Cobra" - the intro track to "Nightlife", Billie Joe hides an allegory for temptation, drinking, and dangerous lifestyle beneath a high energy garage track. In the same vein as "Makeout Party", it manages to be undeniably infectious. Heavy bass, erratic guitars, and a strong melody are the highlights here.
11. "Nightlife" - Green Day's controversial experiment with hip-hop. The band themselves are very strong here, whether it be with Cool's beat, Dirnt's grooving bass line, and Armstrong's droning, zombie like chorus and bright guitar chords. Lady Cobra's seductive voice manages to make her rap effective, although it isn't 100%. This is probably the darkest song on the album: The lyrics, while seemingly fun and sexual, are very allegorical and foreboding. It's the "Kill The DJ" of this album, it will divide many. Not for everyone, but I encourage listeners to come to this song with an open mind.
12. "Wow! That's Loud" - more strength from the band. It combines a wild, bagpipe like lead guitar intro with more fantastic guitar hooks. The band has its shreddiest solo since "Dry Ice". Great lyrics once again, and the noisy crash at the end of the song closes the metaphorical party perfectly.
13. "Amy" - Magnificent closing track after the crash described above. It delivers a solemn and reflective tribute to Amy Whinehouse, and its single clean guitar dabbles into a sound Green Day has never done. Powerful and heartfelt, it's the perfect closer to "Dos!" and an even better segue to "Tr!" The only thing that holds it back is it's similarity to past songs "Walking Alone" and "Shoplifter", though it's a better song than both.
Ultimately, "Dos!" is a solid album, if not a great one. The composition and sound is something unlike anything Green Day has ever done, as it combines elements of "Dookie", "Nimrod", "Warning", and "Stop Drop And Roll!" to make something completely new. The band generates a not-so straightforward party atmosphere on this record while still creating a fun and high energy experience. The album does not suffer from the plainness that held "Uno!" back; although it does have its own faults and few noticeable hiccups here and there, mostly in song and production quirks. The fact that it's not as immediately accessible as "Uno!" because of sound and composition also hurts it a bit, although the albums are so different that they may be incomparable. Overall, the album is still highly enjoyable and does not disappoint. Those who find "Dos!" to be a pleasant listen will likely find themselves eagerly awaiting the arrival of the trilogy concluding "Tr!" in December. // 9
ExpiredPineaplz, on november 21, 2012 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: If any of you are familiar with Green Day's side project The Foxboro Hot Tubs then you will know what to expect. It's gritty and seductive in the best ways possible. The style of "Dos!" stays very true to their side project, and has the same grittyness throughout the album. It's great and, while many Green Day fans may prefer their original pop punk sound, I really personally loved this sound and the bass by Mike is just fantastic. The solos in the album also feel significantly more epic than the previous album, with an awesome ripping solo in "Makeout Party". // 8
Lyrics: Now we get down to something the album doesn't particularly excel on, lyrics. While "Uno!" was full of songs based off love and having a good time, the lyrics in "Dos!" is mainly about sex and many other topics around the same line of this. If you don't appreciate sexual related lyrics, this wouldn't be the album I would listen to. However, Billie still has that signature voice of his, and the vocals and lyrics on the last track "Amy" has got to be one of the most emotionally touching songs they have ever written. // 7
Overall Impression: Well in the end, how does it fare with other Green Day albums? If you weren't a fan at all of their side project, or aren't a fan of garage punk or a change of pace in bands nowadays, this album won't change your mind. However, if you are the kind that likes it when bands take risks and try something new every now and again, this album will most likely fill your desirable need for that. "Dos!" so far instrumentally is the best in the trilogy, and is overall fantastic to listen to, despite its lyrical shortcomings and (somewhat shocking) album length of about 40 minutes. (Also good to note, there is a track that is drawing mainly negative attention to fans, called "Nightlife" which will be a love/hate track, I personally found it fun and enjoyable). // 8
RitchieRamone, on november 21, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: As the second part of Green Day's newest project, "Dos!" is a very good installment in the bands catalogue. Very good, but not much more. It does shine in certain moments but in the others it feels like it lacks some dept or motivation. So, onto the sound: As on "Uno!", the guitars have a rather strange, kind of mellow, but still a slightly distorted and crunchy sound just as it's the case with GD's latest live shows. If you ask me, it lacks some distortion, but I think they know what's best for them and what they want it to sound like. The bass is absolutely phenomenal. Mike did a really great job, in my opinion, his best since the work on "Insomniac" back in 1995. Bass sound is mostly just typical Green Day... Slappy (I think that's an appropriate word). It's light and catchy on "Stray Heart", lazy and kind of haunting on "Nightlife", kicka-s on "Makeout Party" (nice, old school Green Day solo) and simply good on the rest of it. I wish they've turned it up a bit on songs like "Wild One" and "F--k Time". As said numerous times already, while making "Dos!", the quartet took a different, more garage-like approach. Common mistake: They haven't said that it's gonna be a garage album, but an album featuring well known GD sound with a garage feel to it. Have they invented a new genre or subgenre? I think not, but they surely did something new for themselves. It's definitely an interesting new sound and it's great to see that the band always tries something new and different but still has a signature vibe to every song (example: chord changes). Also, although "Dos!" has a different vibe than a more old-school "Uno!", the albums definitely feel connected and don't feel discontinued in any way if played in a row. // 9
Lyrics: Very good. Better than on "Uno!", worse than on most of their albums. They're not deep and meaningful (except for the song "Amy") but interesting, creative and sometimes weird instead... It's like... Wow, who the f--k would have came up with that? There's definitely a party vibe going on, and I'm totally fine with it, but the main problem with the lyrics is some kind of stupid and generic motives like dirty thongs or babysitters... What the actual f--k? It would be alright if it was mentioned once, but some of these motives (not all listed above) repeat over and over through the whole paste of songs. There are also some lyrical connections with "Uno!" like "Stop when the red lights flash" that was mentioned on "Oh Love". Although most of the album is good and nothing more there is a song that definitely stands out of the usual party formula... "Amy". This is a sad, nostalgic and deep song about late Amy Winehouse. It's not out of the world but it's just touching. Not in a way that you wanna cry to it, but still, it's a pretty big mood changer, especially when you listen to the album for the first time. Garagy (is that a word?) "Lady Cobra", funky rap-rock "Nightlife", wild "Wow! That's Loud" and then slow, loving and intimate "Amy". "Is your heart singing out of tune, is your heart just singing the blues? Dirty records from another time, some blood stains on your shoes. May I have this last dance, by chance if we should meet, can you write me a lullaby, so we can sing you to sleep?" Beautiful. As for the singing, it's top notch as always. Billie did a great job, Mike did even a better job with his perfectly timed and executed backing vocals, and "Lady Cobra", although it feels strange to have a guest singing on a GD record did a fine job rapping on "Nightlife". Vocal effects are great, and not too heavy and distracting. // 8
Overall Impression: I won't compare it with other artists cause it's very difficult to compare a themed album that has a distinct purpose in the trilogy and is not a standalone project with a regular album. I'm just going to say that it stands pretty well compared to other pop-punk/rock artists and records released this year. Compared to "Uno!" it stands very good. Now I'm gonna analyse song by song and at the end, I'm gonna compare it with "Uno!".
01. "See You Tonight" Nice, laid down intro to the album. Short and sweet, nothing special.
02. "F--k Time" Party rock. Pop-song with a rock n roll twist to it. Not smart, but still a fun and libido-fueled song. Great.
03. "Stop When The Red Lights Flash" Great intro, rest of it is good. Classic Green Day wrapped around in their new sound.
04. "Lazy Bones" Well, Billie's a real drama queen on this one. Nice song, a bit ripped of from "AI"'s "Give Me Novacaine".
05. "Wild One" For me the most disappointing song on the record. I was so looking foward to this after hearing it live from Echoplex and on BBC1 but it didn't stood up to my expectations and hopes. The bass should have been louder and heavier, guitars more distorted and chorus simply better. I hoped for a slow, bored with the world song but instead I got just another fair song. Mike's backing vocals (although there's not much of them) are great.
06. "Makeout Party" My least favourite song on the album. I understand where they were trying to go with this song, but they simply failed. I get it Billie you wanna write a song with no rhymes and more song-writing freedom, but you just can't write a song in which almost nothing rhymes! The chord progression is ok, guitar solo is very good... I think I even heard some tapping or sth, but to be honest, I don't feel like rewinding it. Mike's bass solo is awesome.
07. "Stray Heart" My first favorite on the album, also a first single from it. Really catchy, with a 60's twist to it (yes, I meant the bass), and a nice subtle guitar solo. It's just very catchy and irresistible... At least for me.
08. "Ashley" Very good, "Nimrod" style Green Day. The verse is a bit repetitive and it's a bit annoying that it starts In medias res (kind of) with Billie shouting "Ashley!" Mike's backing vocals are once again great.
09. "Baby Eyes" My second favorite. Simply a great song. Reminds me of the Misfits in the intro.
10. "Lady Cobra" The main riff is a ripoff from themselves, actually. Listen to "Stop Drop And Roll" by Foxboro Hot Tubs. It's the same thing, but extended. Aside from that, it's a fair song.
11. "Nightlife" - I was a bit "afraid" when they first announced it but when I heard the preview on BBC1 I was blown away. Lyrics and rapping are good... Nothing special, but Mike's creepy, lazy bass and Billie's lazy voice with a suiting vocal effect are just amazing. It's pretty catchy too. Also, one of my favorites.
12. "Wow! That's Loud" Very good song full of pop-hooks. I really can't say much about it. I liked it. It's great.
13. "Amy" (look up to the lyrics section). Simply touching and magnificent.
And now, comparing it to "Uno!" is it better? The answer is YES. It has a bit better lyrics and is more constant. If I was asked to throw out bad songs from both "Uno!" and "Dos!", I would probably dismiss "Fell For You", "Loss Of Control" and "Troublemaker" from "Uno!", while "Dos!" would only be short for "Makeout Party". That would leave "Uno!" with only 9 songs and that makes "Dos!" a clear winner. Maybe you've noticed that I haven't spoken about Tr at all. That's because, sadly, there isn't much to be spoken about. Tr's drumming (for the first time) is generic, lame and boring. Well, this record belongs to Mike who did a great job playing bass and singing backing vocals. I'm expecting more from my favorite GD member (Tr) on the third album which is in a way a tribute to the drummer himself.
To sum up:
- It's a bit better than "Uno!".
- I loved "F--k Time", "Stray Heart", "Baby Eyes", "Nightlife" and "Amy"
- I disliked "Makeout Party"
- Rest of it is good.
- This is surely an interesting direction for Green Day. Although they will probably never again record something like this, it's great that Green Day has explored yet another genre.
- If it was lost or stolen, I would definitely get another copy of it. // 9