Album Review

Green Day’s Saviors is a return to normalcy

Editor's Note: This article was meant to be published on January 24, 2024.

It seems Green Day is done trolling. After their horrendous previous record, released in 2020, Father of All…, Green Day has recovered from the hate and returned with their long-teased fourteenth album, Saviors. Green Day hasn’t put out anything higher than mediocre in their recent releases, so I went into Saviors with low expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty enjoyable.

Billie Joe Armstrong’s voice increased throughout his career, and this album may have his most nasal voice yet. His singing here is higher than that of most modern pop artists. On the production, this album doesn’t sound like it was recorded in 2023, which I bow down to. In recent rock releases, like the new Blink-182 and Foo Fighters albums, the album’s production is too clear. It ruins all the aesthetic rock always had. With that, I was glad Green Day continued to keep their usual production sound in this new album. Green Day also ensures all instruments are heard again. Mike Dirnt’s bass can clearly be heard, like on the track “Bobby Sox.” Tré Cool’s drumming shows no signs of lacking, especially when he goes all out in the track “Coma City.”

There are a lot of pros I have with Saviors. Certain tracks sound like they were recorded in their pre-Dookie days, like “Look Ma, No Brains!” I also liked “Goodnight Adeline.” If you told me it was a lost track from their 2009 album 21st Century Breakdown, I probably would have believed you. I also enjoyed “One Eyed Bastard” as it has hints of Irish rock. “Suzie Chapstick,” a slower jam, sounds like it was performed by modern Weezer. Fans of their acoustic hit from 1997, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” will enjoy the track “Father to a Son.” With all that, this album overall must be great, right?

Wrong. Those tracks mentioned above stood out to me, but that doesn’t represent the majority. Upon hearing this album, it’s evident that Green Day is playing it safe after their previous release was panned. What I mean by that is there are a lot of songs on this record with no attempts to experiment with new sounds. There are 15 tracks on this record, and almost all of them sound generic. That does not mean they are objectively bad, though there are only so many ways Armstrong can come up with four power chords over a career of 37 years and not have it sound repetitive. “The American Dream Is Killing Me” sounds like a flat attempt to replicate their hit, “American Idiot,” having a similar tempo and lyrics. Tracks like “Living in the ‘20s,” “Corvette Summer,” and “Strange Days Are Here to Stay” are examples of the apparent “safe” filler songs. Having more filler songs was most likely influenced by the fact that their previous album, Father of All…, consisted of only ten tracks and lasted 26 minutes. Including many filler songs seems to be Green Day’s way to make Saviors longer with less effort, with a length of 46 minutes. Overall, these “safe” songs could have just been personal subjective misses.

Upon a few listens, this is just your average Green Day record. This album is no basket case, but it’s not great either. However, after hearing this record, I’m intrigued about Green Day’s future albums. Then, hopefully, fans won’t be tempted to echo “wake me up when this album ends.”