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Green Day return with a triumphant outing in Saviors


Release date: 19 January 2024
Green Day Saviors cover
19 January 2024, 09:00 Written by Vicky Greer

Green Day have been a divisive band for the best part of their career.

From accusations of selling out in 1994 when they signed to a major label to release Dookie, to swapping it all for high-concept stadium rock in the 00s and their last decade of pop-punk offerings, they’ve had both critics and adoring fans every step of the way. On their fourteenth studio album Saviors, however, they’ve got something for everyone. Over the course of a whopping 15 tracks, they present to us their best album since 21st Century Breakdown.

Saviors boasts some of Green Day's most thrilling anthems to date. Album opener “The American Dream Is Killing Me” could have come straight from their concept album era with a massive earworm chorus that showcases the band at their very best. In the tracks that immediately follow, they hit more home runs. “Bobby Sox” mixes upbeat pop-punk with some of Billie Joe Armstrong’s heaviest vocals to date in its head-banging chorus as he screams out “Do you wanna be my girlfriend / Do you wanna be my boyfriend?” (an early, strong contender for Bisexual Anthem of the Year, perhaps). “One-Eyed Bastard” and “Dilemma” immediately follow suit, bringing back Green Day’s knack for catchy melodies and stadium-filling riffs that their more recent outings lacked.

The issue with an anthem-heavy opening act is that the second half of the album almost pales in comparison. There are still some big hits with “Coma City” and the titular “Saviors”, but nothing quite as memorable as the choruses of “The American Dream Is Killing Me” and “Dilemma”.

There are plenty of softer moments, too, in the gentle nostalgia of “Goodnight Adeline”, and the raw, acoustic feel of “Father To A Son” and “Fancy Sauce”. This type of variation keeps things fresh throughout the 15 songs of the album, providing a welcome variation that allows Savior’s more anthemic moments to really shine through.

Saviors also sees a welcome return of Green Day’s social and political observations that made American Idiot so beloved but that was missing, at least on the surface, in Father Of All… “Strange Days Are Here To Say” and “Living In The 20s” are unsurprisingly critical of modern life, noting that “Ever since Bowie died / It hasn't been the same”. On the other hand, songs like “1981” and “Corvette Summer” feel more nostalgic in their composition, hitting the right balance between the past and the present, condemning society’s ills while recognising that music can also be a form of escapist fun.

There are, of course, lacklustre moments on the album; it’s near-impossible to keep listeners gripped throughout a 15-song album. “Fancy Sauce”, for example, doesn’t feel like a fitting conclusion to an album that began with such huge anthems. But at its high points, Saviors is a reminder of why you fell in love with Green Day, a triumphant outing that will surely silence the critics.

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