Review: Green Day's 'Dos!' a jolt of fun and surprises
What a difference a year — and an onstage outburst — make.
Near the beginning of 2012, the commercial rock world was abuzz with news of Green Day's forthcoming trio of studio albums. On a winning streak that included the hit Broadway musical "American Idiot" and the double whammy of studio albums "American Idiot" and "21st Century Breakdown," the band had announced that the records, called "Uno!" "Dos!" and "Tre!," would arrive over a four-month period at the end of the year.
Video teasers and carefully timed press releases arrived, part of a keen marketing plan that blanketed America with pasteboard posters and Web images of the band's Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool virtually jumping out of the screen. Then, mere days before "Uno!" came out, Armstrong threw a tantrum at a Clear Channel-sponsored Las Vegas promotional concert, bad-mouthed set time restrictions, smashed his guitar and stormed offstage.
The band quickly apologized to Clear Channel and its fans, and soon thereafter announced Armstrong's entry into rehab — where he remains. Two weeks ago Green Day canceled its scheduled live performances, postponed its 2013 tour and pushed up the release date of "Tre!" by nearly a month, to Dec. 11. What once felt like the beginning of a new Green Day now seems like something it just wants to get over with.
Into this chaos comes "Dos!," which is being released Tuesday. The good news is that it's a far better record than "Uno!" In fact, it's an excellent Green Day album — one of its best — a catchy, revealing work that surprises with its willingness to explore ideas that the band members may not have invented, but which, fed through Green Day's filter, become theirs. Like its predecessor, "Dos!" was recorded by the band with longtime producer (and Warner Bros. Records CEO) Rob Cavallo. Unlike it, "Dos!" contains a rap song.
The adventure on "Dos!" is great news, considering that when "Uno!" was released on Sept. 25, it landed with a thud. The record felt like a bottle rocket when we were promised Roman candles, a work whose biggest surprise was how unsurprising it felt.
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