Sound — 8
To many long-time Green Day fans, after the release of Warning in 200o, maybe there wasn't a lot to be expected from the 2002 release of Shenanigans. After hearing International Superhits!, and knowing that Shenanigans was its "partner" release, I can't say I expected a ton myself. And to my minor disappointment, my doubts came true. Though Green Day seems to shine even through their crappiest songs, however, so the music was likeable. Shenanigans relies heavily on power chords and melodic little solos, as well as providing an upbeat, (dare I say it?) pop-ish sound to round out this short, 12-track release. Songs like "Ha Ha, You're Dead" put a modern spin on the band's distinctive post-grunge pseudopunk sound, "Don't Wanna Fall in Love" has a tempo and guitar melody not to be expected from Green Day, and "Espionage" provides us with a good old fashioned spy music spoof. After a while, though diverse (as always), the music tends to get a little boring, so I have to rate it a 4.
Lyrics — 8
One thing that I noticed immediately upon my first listening to Shenanigans is Billie Joe Armstrong's lack of vocal and lyrical enthusiasm. This is largely what makes Green Day my favorite band. After listening to such albums as Insomniac, I was disappointed at lines like, "I'm desenisitized/Wanna watch a bomb/Blow the masses high", and the like. Though the lyrics seem to contain many of the same messages as previous albums, they seem to be (unusually) blatant and less poetic/creative than normal. I must also mention the vocals. billie Joe seems to be far less "into" many of the songs, causing most of them to lack in terms of emotional connection. But as always, he is a very, very talented vocalist, and there are a few times on the album where sloppy writing can be overlooked.
Overall Impression — 8
If I had to pick, Shenanigans would probably rank as my least favorite of Green Day's albums. Unlike Insomniac or Dookie (or any of them), I can't say that I like all the songs on it ("Outsider" and "Tired of Waiting" are wastes of space in my opinion), but some songs ("You Lied", "I Want to Be On TV", and "On the Wagon", most namely) really lend themselves to make this album likeable. If I lost it, unless I really missed some of the songs (which I probably would), I might not pick it up again, because I need to replace my practically destroyed copy of Insomniac :). It is worth buying, for my fellow hardcore Green day fans, but if you are looking for their best work, get Insomniac, or maybe Dookie or Kerplunk!. Overall, 4/5. Certainly not their greatest, but likeable nonetheless.