When I last sat down to write about a Billie Joe Armstrong project, I put my thoughts down on a band called The Longshot. What I wasn’t expecting from the new Green Day album, called Father of All Motherfuckers, is for that aforementioned side project to surpass the quality of the much more established brand. But alas, on Green Day’s 13th studio album, they have taken a few steps backward as they try and regain their footing. At first, it was tough for me to put my finger on where it went wrong on this record, but after re-listening to the album a few more times since its release date, it just isn’t as strong as I have come to expect from the pop-punk giants. Produced by Butch Walker, Chris Dugan, and Green Day, the album should have been a momentous creative igniter for the band to re-solidify themselves right before their most prominent touring stint in recent memory (the Hella Mega Tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy). But instead, the final mixes of this record feel like they are missing a key ingredient in what made the band such a fun time in the first place.
Billie Joe Armstrong, talking to Rolling Stone about “Minority:”
After “Time of Your Life,” I started getting into playing more acoustic guitar, and I really wanted to have more for Warning. And there was also a lot of kind of bad pop punk that was starting to happen, and I wanted to go against that genre. This felt like the next step. I had been getting into listening to more of the Kinks and the Who, who found a lot of power in an acoustic song, and used the guitar almost like a drum. “Pinball Wizard” is so percussive. I wrote this right before the election between George Bush and Al Gore. I started feeling the political wheels starting to turn toward conservatism a little bit. I think that song is sort of about declaring that you’re stepping out of the line, you’re not part of the sheep, and trying to find your own individualism. It felt like we were diving into something that was more conceptual for sure.
I’d like to go back and rerecord that album. It was right when Pro Tools started happening. I want to go back and just do everything more live, because I think “Minority” live is a lot better than it came out on the album. But that’s just one of those things that you think about too much.
Warning is still my favorite Green Day album.
Imagine my surprise when an anonymous package, postmarked from California, arrived in my mailbox containing the album we’ve all been waiting for, Green Day’s Father Of All Motherfuckers which isn’t due out until February 7, 2020! Alas, my initial excitement was only slightly dampened when it turned out the package contained just the vinyl sleeve for Green Day’s 13th studio album and did not include any type of insert, but I certainly wasn’t complaining.