Sound — 10
The area where 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours is sound. This album clearly sets itself apart from most of Green Day's albums (and other artists' from the early 90s) through the innovative use of instruments and a unique, diverse sound. Those seeking the driving post-grunge pseudopunk of Dookie, the dark and cynical Insomniac, or the melodic Shenanigans, will not find what they are looking for. 1,039/Smooth is powered by insane improvised solos, impressive basslines, and none short of incredible drumming. This album wastes not one of its nineteen tracks - The sound ranges everywhere, from the cliche (in a good way) four-chord progression of "Dry Ice", and a catchy beat and excellent solo in "Paper Lanterns", to the strange blues-esque cover of Operation Ivy's "Knowledge" and the vintage-y "Don't Leave Me" (which my band recently covered at a show, BTW). Overall, 1,039/Smooth is unexpected and none short of incredible in terms of sound.
Lyrics — 8
Some may consider the album's "downfall" to be the lyrics, but they accurately express teenage angst in a distinctive, relatable voice. Yes, most of the vocabulary is underdeveloped and in some cases sloppy, it is very suited to the sound and the situations presented in the songs: Crushes on girls ("The Judge's Daughter" and "Dry Ice"), Sitting in your room with the door locked ("I Want to Be Alone"), and some good old teenage desparation ("Don't Leave Me"). Billie Joe was also a talented vocalist early on in Green Day's career. Although most of the immaturity is outweighed by the instrumental talent of the band (and the incredible fun of singing along), but some parts still stick out, and therefore I must give it a four out of five.
Overall Impression — 10
As a Green Day album, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours already makes it into my favorites, and rightfully so. It is diverse, and truly shows off the raw talent that the whole band posesses, even early in their career (this WAS their first release). It is worth every penny! It is a truly different experience for Green Day fans. I would definately buy it again if I lost it. I like every song on the album (all are fun to play on the guitar as well), but my favorite songs have got to be "Don't Leave Me", "16", "Road to Acceptence", "Knowledge", and "Dry Ice". The only thing I can say I didn't like was a few spots in the lyrics, but for the most part, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours is a solid, seamless album that is sure not to disappoint.