In a year where over 2 billion people are eligible to vote, elections being held in more than 60 countries, a year that is going to be the biggest and most consequential election year in history, having Green Day back with a reignited fire in their souls, passion raging through their every move, taking swipe at the ills in our society is something to treasure and inspire people to not stand for this rubbish any longer, use our votes and try and make change happen.
The build up to the release of Saviors talked a lot about the links with American Idiot and Dookie which are without a doubt Green Day’s most loved and important albums of their entire catalogue. Dookie for launching Green Day to the masses, becoming the anthem for the MTV generation and American Idiot which tackled Bush era America. Twenty years on from American Idiot the world remains in a very bad place, Saviors references many of the things that are wrong in the world today and stands proudly next to American Idiot as an album that will inspire people to get together and do something positive.
The American Dream Is Killing Me opens the album and instantly sets the tone for what’s to come. It's insanely catchy, it sounds like Green Day, it says enough is enough. We have put up with this crap for so long, we have been sold a dream full of lies, designed to let the rich get richer “People on the street / Unemployed and obsolete” “Don’t want no huddled masses / Tik Tok and taxes.” Look Ma, No Brains combines some great guitar riffs which leads us into a sing-along chorus that ensures this song will be one to make you smile whilst leaving you with so much fire and energy. Bobby Sox is a melodic sweet song about finding love “Do you wanna by me girlfriend / Do you wanna be my boyfriend”.
Those opening three songs are Green Day doing what Green Day do best, everything you have ever loved about the band are captured within those songs. This no re-invention of the wheel, this album is not pushing the creative boundaries of music. It arguably sounds like every Green Day album of the last thirty years, which is a criticism I am sure some will throw towards Saviors. However there are some things that should never change, and having Green Day back sounding like Green Day is something to cherish.
Further highlights on Saviors include Dilemma with guitars and drums up to the max and lyrics that tackle nightmares, getting drunk, sobriety and like with a lot of this album thinking about where the world is at right now “Strange days are here again / And its getting weirder”. 1981 which is full of nostalgia, a song that captures that feeling of being young, hearing a song for the first time, falling in love with what you are hearing, feeling 10ft tall, feeling that the world is yours for the taking “she’s gonna bang her head like 1981”. If, like me, you crave to go back to a world where people are not putting their every move on social media then you are going to fall in love with the lyrics on Suzie Chapstick “Will I ever see your face again / Not just photos from an Instagram / Will you say hello from across the street / From a place and time we used to meet”
Strange Days Are Here to Stay is, at the time of writing, my favourite song on the album. It is the song that captures everything this album is trying to achieve. Every lyric on here makes you reflect; think about the sociopolitical mess we find ourselves in and what if anything can we do to get out of it. “Ever since Bowie died / It hasn’t been the same” “Well this is how the world will end / When superheroes play pretend / They promised use forever / But we got less”. Living in the ‘20s follows and continues to perfectly capture what life is like right now, “Another shooting in a supermarket / I spent my money on a bloody soft target” every chord that is played, every drum skin that is hit, every lyric that is sung is done so with an incredible amount of belief and passion.
Bille Joe has always been an emotional lyricist, and that emotion is beautifully conveyed in Father to a Son, a song that captures parenthood, the worries we have about children especially growing up in today's world “Well I made a few mistakes / But I’ll never break your heart / A promise, father to a son / I never knew a love could be scarier than anger”. Goodnight Adeline is another song on the album that gives the album a tender anthemic moment, this song easily sits next to When September Comes and Good Riddance (Time of your life). Fancy Sauce closes the album and is the perfect ending, summarising everything we have just been listening to throughout Saviors “Watch the evening news / Cause it’s my favourite Cartoon”
Green Day welcome back, your commentary on the state of the world has been missed. There may be some critics who say how can people who are wealthier than many of us can ever dream of, who since Dookie was released thirty years ago have not had to worry about where the next meal is coming from, how can people like this relate to those who experience normal life today? Well the answer to that is in Saviors, this album shows what we have known all along, despite their success Green Day are still relatable, still understand and have a great deal of empathy for the struggles people face in life due to evil politicians and are determined to keep using their music to bring people together, to have a good time whilst trying to make the world a better place.