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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Green Day “Saviors” Review

Green Day Saviors Album Artwork.
Courtesy Belfast Telegraph
Green Day “Saviors” Album Artwork.

The release of “Saviors” by the classic punk trio Green Day marks 20 years since their iconic album, “American Idiot.” Although they have released multiple works since then, Saviors appears to be the only one that is as complete and conceptual of a piece. This is fitting considering that the album was intended by its creators to be the final project in the trilogy that includes the groups first big album “Dookie” from 1994 and the popular “American Idiot” from 2004.

Saviors is, for the most part, a standard Green Day album, despite some contrasts it has with their other music. It has all the classics: hard-hitting punk choruses, psychologically concerning imagery and plenty of social and political commentary. The music is most comparable to “American Idiot” but contains hints of almost every style Green Day has utilized along their journey as a band and even some new ones.

The opener, “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” sets the tone for the album with the question “We are not home, are we not home?” which the album attempts to answer as it progresses. Saviors offers a pessimistic view of the problems we currently face as a society, something common for Green Day. Right away, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong takes shots at American consumerism culture and misinformation in the media confessing “nonsense is my heroin” on the second song, “Look Ma, No Brains!” Throughout the album, Armstrong mostly speaks from the point of view of people affected by the things he criticizes, probably to highlight the absurdity of those issues.

The loud choruses and classic power chords continue through to the fourth song, “One Eyed Bastard” where the music takes on a more alternative sound.The style is slightly similar to groups like Arctic Monkeys where Armstrong’s voice is filtered and altered with reverb. Voice effects are also used on the song “Saviors” during the verses, which adds to the juxtaposition of the verse and chorus.

The album exhibits another side to Green Day we haven’t seen yet. The best way to describe it would be a slower, cleaner version of their punk. The first look at this new tone is in “Dilemma” which navigates Armstrong’s feelings about addiction and rehab through its melodic and introspective verses. Later on in the tracklist, “Corvette Summer” introduces another version of this approach with a slower, steady tempo but high volume that cultivates a completely different and almost feel-good sound, which is rare on this album.

Saviors is much more alternative than other Green Day albums but doesn’t skimp on classic punk songs either. Songs like “Bobby Sox,” “1981,” “Coma City” and “Living in the ‘20s” all feature the fast and active drums Tré Cool is known for as well as punchy guitar and catchy hooks from Armstrong that solidify them as the album’s dose of punk rock.

“Goodnight Adeline” might be the most interesting song on this album. It explores similar themes as in “Dilemma” and maintains the mellower vibe, even incorporating some acoustic guitar while also delivering choruses that are heavy and loud. “Suzie Chapstick” acts as another refreshing track with its clean guitar tone, vocal harmonies and themes of love and heartbreak that show parallels to early Rock and Roll and Doo-Wop from the 50’s. The romantic ballad is the only love song on the album but it is camouflaged as a regular rock song by Armstrong’s tone and guitar solo that give it a punk twist.
Of course, Green Day is not the same young and eager band it once was, although it’s hard to spot the difference just by listening to their music since they are still such a vibrant and dynamic group. This change can be noticed more in the issues they choose to focus on, both on the national or political level and the personal level. They have moved on to more age-appropriate topics like in “Father to a Son” which deals with the challenges of parenting.

Armstrong also acknowledges the group’s changed perspective due to their older age when he reflects, “Ever since Bowie died, it hasn’t been the same” and “I just lost my sense of humor, Gen-Z killing baby boomers now,” on the song “Strange Days Are Here to Stay.” At the same time, current problems like gun control, drug addiction and overdose, racism and technology dependence are all brought up in that same song over a muted guitar chord pattern that resembles the band’s earlier hits like “Basket Case.”

The ability to continue producing music that questions aspects of our culture over decades of musical and social change is impressive. The trio has adapted to address recent issues over the same instrumental mastery. Green Day no longer represents the youth of America, but they haven’t stopped sharing their opinions on the state of the world and don’t plan on it.

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About the Contributor
Gil Gordon, Print A&E Editor
Junior Gil Gordon is excited to participate in his first year with the Pitch as a Print A&E Editor. Gil likes hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing and watching sports in his free time.
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