This week's "wtf article" comes courtesy of Writer Stephen Deusner goes out of his way to bash Green Day all based on the first single "Oh Love."

Billie Joe sharing his thoughts
" It's not easy for any artist to write a song that is simultaneously anthemic and inconsequential, but Green Day have done just that. [...]

"Oh Love" is the first volley in what looks to be a sustained attack by Green Day. [...]Such an undertaking seems ambitious -- not to mention more than a little self-regarding, as though the material is just too good to edit down to a more digestible tracklist. [...]

What rankles most, however, isn't the music they'd made late in their career, but the complete lack of imagination they've shown as they've aged. No band has a script for how it will mature and develop; the possibilities are endless. Green Day, in other words, could have become anything. They certainly had the power and the money and the fans to sustain a career full of unexpected twists and turns and experiments and excursions. Instead, they've very faithfully followed the pre-set path that favors albums as major statements, maturation as introspection, import as a complete rejection of fun. Armstrong might have been a punk original; instead he's fashioned himself after Bono. We already have one of those, and some would even say that's too many."

I've heard pretty much every criticism levied at Green Day over the last 8 years. From the 'purists' of the 90's complaining about American Idiot to those complaining about the serious over-tones in much more recent Green Day releases. This article doesn't surprise me, someone will always be quick at the chance to bash Green Day. Why? Because it gets attention. We're writing about it, people who liked it shared it to say "LOOK! THIS GUY GETS IT" and people who disagree link to it and say "wtf is this guy thinking?" It's not hard to assume what side I'll land on.

Billie Joe has mentioned that this trilogy is a "fuck you" to everyone else. This is Green Day's album. They're not writing for anyone, they're not recording this music to please anyone but themselves. They like what they're doing and they want to release it. They didn't want to write another punk rock opera (which also got criticism) - so the first single they release is comparatively simple and people bitch about that as well.

Ultimately, we've heard one finished song in a trilogy that will give us 37 songs. It's really ridiculous to judge an entire piece of work based on a single song. The biggest issue I have with the article is the following line,

"Instead, they've very faithfully followed the pre-set path that favors albums as major statements, maturation as introspection, import as a complete rejection of fun."

I think nothing could be further from reality. One of the best things about Green Day has been their disregard for a pre-set path. They released American Idiot at a time when major rock bands weren't singing much about politics. Like "Time Of Your Life" in the late 90's, they did something entirely different than what people expected them to do. They'll record an album as a different band (Foxboro Hot Tubs) release it online anonymously, then go on a mini-tour playing small club venues just for the hell of it. They did a musical because they wanted to work with creative people who had a vision of what their music could be on the stage. Now, they're releasing a trilogy of albums over the next 7 months because they want to.

If it's one thing I've never heard anyone say of Green Day is that they're predictable. They're doing whatever the hell they want, and I think that annoys a lot of people. "Why can't they just release a normal album every couple years like everyone else?" To quote Tre Cool,

"We're Green Day. We can do whatever we want."
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May 2023
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