Sound — 9
I must admit, Green Day went all out on this album. They improved their sound entirely, while still maintaining their punk roots. They've explored new areas of music, introduced new techniques (like their transitions from songs)and improved on their story aspects of their albums. From what I gather (though I haven't looked too far into it), the whole album is about a love story between Gloria and Christian, and the troubles that come from it. In the 16 track album (18 for deluxe edition, plus an extra B-side, bringing it to 19), there are more soft songs, a lot more songs with piano, and a lot more guitar solos, which in themselves were more advanced than any other I've heard in Green Day's history (in the solo for "Restless Heart Syndrome", excessive wah is used). The tracks show the amount of effort put into this album, from the meaningful peace-wishing song "21 Guns" to the exotic "Peacemaker" to possibly the new arena theme "Know Your Enemy" (it may just be me, but I could easily see that becoming the next great stadium song). Frankly, this is now my favorite of Green Day's albums, and perfect as a follow-up for their American Idiot album.
Lyrics — 9
Again, Green Day's come out with story album, filled with great lyrics, melodies, and vocal hooks. The album, a story about the love between Gloria and Christian, showcases Billy Joe's vocal abilities in a fun and pleasant 1+ hour collection of new music. Despite them being around going on 20 years now, Billy Joe is still leaving us with memorable lines and lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
This and American Idiot are probably my favorite of the entire extensive Green Day cataloge, though in my opinion this album vastly surpasses their last album, as it did all of their other works. After listening to it no less than 5 times straight through, my favorite songs would have to be the title track, Viva La Gloria!, Last Night On Earth, Peacemaker, Restless Heart Syndrome, 21 Gun, American Eulogy: Mass Hysteria / Modern Age, and one of the two bonus songs, A Quick One While He's Away, which begins with a Queen-styled multi harmony a capella vocal intro. I love the whole album, and would pry it from the cold, dead, blistered, burnt, and bloated fingers of whatever sick bastard decided to take it from me. I would by it again if it were lost, but considering I've sent a digital copy of the album to no less than 13 of my friends, I doubt I'd have to.