Green Day performing liveDaniel D'Uria / Flickr /

Ever since 2004, Green Day have struggled to match the heights of their breakout album American Idiot. 21st Century Breakdown provided an even more elaborate concept with increasingly dramatic songs; the ¡Uno! , ¡Dos! , ¡Tré! trio was a largely forgettable and bloated trilogy. 2016’s Revolution Radio was a solid enough album with a few hits, though paled in comparison to their earlier work. Their 2020 album, Father of All…. Was a disaster, with horrible vocals, terrible production and unlikeable songs. On Saviors, Green Day have seemingly avoided many of the missteps of these previous albums, aiming to redeem themselves and somewhat succeeding, providing their best effort since 21st century Breakdown, with a sound more akin to a modernised version of their early albums.

Saviors is a consistently well-produced album, with Tre Cool’s drums sounding punchy and exciting throughout, maintaining the band’s classic pop-punk sound. Mike Dirnt also provides some catchy basslines, despite them being a little buried in the mix under Billie Joe Armstrong’s power punk guitar riffs. Overall, the album is a huge improvement over their previous effort, with Armstrong’s vocals matching the vibe of the album and the choruses generally being an explosion of energy on the majority of the songs, such as on ‘Bobby Sox’. The guitar solo on the opening track, ‘The American Dream is Killing me’, is an early high, and the song ‘Dilemma’ proves that the band can still write a snappy and catchy anthem. The instrumentation is on point the whole album; the California trio have certainly not lost their touch in that regard.

“The instrumentation is on point the whole album; the California trio have certainly not lost their touch in that regard”

Providing their classic tongue-in-cheek political commentary, Green Day deliver some fairly memorable lyrics on the project. On the opening track ‘The American Dream is Killing Me’, Billie Joe Armstrong talks of his disaffection with the American way of life, saying “Kiss me, I’m dead inside. / Who needs suicide when / The American Dream is killin’ me”. Discontent with the 21st century is a common theme across much of the album. In the song ’Living in the ‘20s’, Green Day discuss the hope of the 2020s quickly waning, and the people wanting to return to the better days of the 2010s. Armstrong sings: “We’re all together and we’re living in the ’20s / Salutations on another era / My condolences”. Whilst these lyrics aren’t necessarily profound or revolutionary, they provide a clear perspective of the band’s outlook and their issues with the 21st century. However, this far in their career it would be nice for a new lyrical approach to be taken from the band, with Armstrong’s lyrics generally failing to mature with age.

“These lyrics aren’t necessarily profound or revolutionary”

The lack of lyrical evolution is not the only issue with Saviors. For an album with a track list spanning 15 songs, things can end up getting a bit repetitive. While there are some slower, more sombre moments – such as ‘Good Night Adeline’ and ‘Suzie Chapstick’ – which provide a welcome break from the energy of the rest of the album, by the end of the runtime many of the songs are going in through one ear and out the other. Tracks like ‘Corvette Summer’, ‘Coma City’ and, disappointingly, the title track ‘Saviors’ just don’t have anything interesting to say, and sonically things get repetitive. Had the album been cut down by 3 or 4 tracks, it could have been a far more concise and enjoyable listen.


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So should you press play on Saviors? Well, if you’re a fan of Green Day or are looking for some fun pop punk songs to do a bit of headbanging to, it’s probably worth the listen. There are a few great songs in here, like ‘The American Dream is Killing me’, ‘Dilemma’, and ‘Father to a Son’, which could hold their own against some of the band’s best. However, if you’re not a fan of Green Day or the genre more generally, you won’t be missing out on too much by giving it a skip. There are some exciting, but brief, moments of experimentation littered throughout the album, such as the string sections on the opening track and ‘Father to a Son’, but the band fail to push the boundaries or expand on these ambitious ideas. Maybe it would be wiser to simply return to the iconic bangers of American Idiot, or hope that the rest of 2024 promises some more notable rock releases.