Release Date: Dec 11, 2012
Record label: Reprise
Green Day's three-album run this year began with the exhilarating, all-aboard-for-funtime blast of ¡Uno!, and now it ends with a symphonic long goodbye. ¡Tré! picks up where its predecessor, ¡Dos!, left off: with a nod to soul pioneer Sam Cooke. "Brutal Love" channels Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me," and its strings and Memphis-style horns deliver grandeur and depth to the song's erotic desperation.
If ¡Uno! and ¡Dos! did it all for the Dookie kids, ¡Tre! might be a shout to fans of 2000’s Warning. Green Day’s third disc in three months lets their tightly wound hooks decompress, delivering stadium-worthy three-chord nods to various ghosts of rock past, from Otis Redding to Baba O’Riley. There are odd ducks here (an operatic six-minute suite, a spiky Occupy ode), but any band offering up a whole trilogy to the altar of no-bones rock & roll shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Review Summary: The last stand.On the final part of the trilogy, Green Day bring out the last collection of tracks that might be their most diverse yet. Unlike the previous two efforts, iTRÉ! owes more to Warning than iUNO! and iDOS!, featuring more mid-tempo tracks more carefully crafted. However, like its predecessors iTRÉ! is also run through the Foxboro Hot Tubs sound filter.What's relieving is the fact that this time there's no embarrassing attempt at stepping out of the comfort zone, instead Green Day are trying to cover all the grounds they've taken on before.
There are very few bands—if any—whose music is good enough to justify three full-length studio albums in one calendar year. And as they’ve proven over the course of their bloated 2012 triple-album saga, Green Day are clearly not that band. Their ambitions have swelled over the past decade (American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown), beefing up their trademark crotch-rocket pop-punk with strings and horns and interludes and all the “serious studio tricks” bands pull when they’re hunting down maturity.
The final part of Green Day's album trilogy explains why they didn't dump two thirds of the songs and make one album of nothing but killer songs: even across three discs, they couldn't come up with one album of nothing but killer songs. That's not to say Tré is a turkey: like its predecessors, it's got some pretty good songs – but they never get better than pretty good. What's more, some of the steals here are so obvious as to be jaw-dropping, even if the sources are unexpected: the opening Brutal Love is all but a note-for-note re-creation of Sam Cooke's Bring It on Home to Me; Missing You takes its bridge from the Who's Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand; Dirty Rotten Bastards from the refrain of Carmen's Toreador Song.
Bloody Green Day albums are like bloody buses. You wait years for one, then three come along at once and none of them really go anywhere. Bloody Green Day albums are like bloody buses, it’s often hard to tell them apart.. Bloody Green Day albums are like bloody buses. They’re formulaic and the ….
So far this year’s slate of Green Day full-lengths has proven to be a decidedly mixed affair. ¡Uno! was a wash, but ¡Dos! was a marked improvement, leaving hope that the final installment ¡Tré! would help bring the entire enterprise to a satisfactory conclusion. Now that it’s here—its release pushed up a month as an apology for the band’s truncated 2012 tour schedule—¡Tré! turns out to be a stumble backwards, and a summary of the trilogy’s shortcomings.
Second verse, same as the first; the same riff you’ll swear you heard 15 songs earlier; the same tics, the same tricks; the same final-chorus key change you could set your watch by; the same lingering disappointment you’ll feel at the end of it all. Listening to ‘¡Uno!’, ‘¡Dos!’ and ‘¡Tré!’ back to back, it’s difficult to fathom how, across a triple-disc canvas that offers nothing but room to experiment, Green Day could contrive to record the same album three times, with only minor variations between them. And yet that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Whatever else can be said about Green Day at the end of their three-albums-in-three-months blitzkrieg, no one can call them timid. Uno contained a handful of strong tracks and found the band in a stadium-rock mode that suited their sound comfortably, while Dos was a convincing, if slightly heavy-handed, ode to garage rock and mindless hedonism, but even if all three albums had turned out to be masterpieces, there always loomed the very real danger of Green Day overload. Hearing the opening track to Tre, the doo-wop-flavored love song “Brutal Love,” you'd be forgiven for an initial flush of optimism.
“Do you have the time to listen to me whine?”. “Don’t wanna be an American Idiot”. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest poet – and Billie-Joe Armstrong certainly isn’t – to pen a line that changes rock history. With one, they became poster-boys for suburban ennui. With the ….
With Billie Joe Armstrong still in rehab, Green Day have completed their trilogy of albums quicker than expected: before the clock strikes 2013. Ironically, their ambitious plan masks their inability to carry it through. To be fair, making three solid albums in a year is a tough task for anyone, let alone a band as creatively tapped-out as Green Day.
The Chicago Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He played the game the right way, he hit for power in an era when 2nd baseman weren’t supposed to, and he’s widely considered one of the best defensive players at his position to ever play the game. He retired before season’s end in 1994, but it wasn’t due to injury or age, it was because he lost the desire to play.
For the final installment of Green Day’s back-to-basics trilogy, we hear more from the band’s teary pop “Good Riddance” side than from its snotty punk “Longview” side. Not that “¡Tré!” is all wistful, but it does upend the equation presented on “¡Dos!,” which had a little mellow mixed in with mostly snarl. The dozen tracks on “¡Tré!” spotlight acoustic guitars, harmony vocals, piano, and strings.
This review originally ran in AP 294. By this point, everyone should realize Billie Joe Armstrong’s admission into rehab in mid-September was not a publicity stunt: Green Day’s touring schedule has been postponed indefinitely, ¡Dos! was released in November with minimal press to back it up and ¡Tré! had to be bumped up from its original January 2013 release date to try and keep the band’s momentum moving while Armstrong was out of the spotlight. It is easy to dig through all three of Green Day’s new albums to look for clues regarding Armstrong’s alleged drug habit (odds are, you found some on ¡Dos!), but ¡Tré! is the cleanest, soberest record out of the trilogy.