“Father of All…” by Green Day (Album Review)

Logan Fortner

Legendary American rock and punk band Green Day just released their much anticipated thirteenth studio album Father of All… which has not just myself but most fans unsure of what to think. This album takes Green Day in a whole new direction as they take on a much older version of rock than what we are used to hearing from the East Bay punk group.

Ever since the initial release of the first single, the title track, fans have been very split down the middle when trying to determine whether or not they like it or not as it was just simply so different from anything they had previously done. This album is pretty much all over the place when it comes to the overall sound with Green Day taking us through so many different decades and eras of rock and roll. Whether or not it comes as a fault is up for debate but as I have continued to listen to this album more and more, it has really grown on me.

Father of All… first came out following the announcement of the Hella Mega Tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer. This was our first taste of what was yet to come and if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t into it upon the first couple listens. I just had it in my mind that this wasn’t Green Day and that it was wrong, but after further listens this song has really grown on me, just like several songs on this record.

The second single Fire, Ready, Aim definitely helped nudge me in the right direction when trying to enjoy this album as while it was very similar to the previous track, there was something about it that very much captured my attention early on. Lyrically, the band uses this as an opportunity to mock people who often act before even thinking twice.

Oh Yeah! was the third single released and once again, Green Day continues to sell me on this new sound as they sample Joan Jett and The Blackhearts’ song You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah). Green Day has never had any issues with getting political in their music and on this track we see the band criticizing the current state of America with its obsession with social media. It also takes a nod at the current issue with gun control and gun violence (mainly school shootings) in the country.

Meet Me on the Roof takes a pretty big leap into almost a 60’s rock and is by no means a favorite for me, but over time I have definitely grown to at least tolerate it. It tells the story of a guy who looks up to a girl and hopes that she has low enough expectations for him to date her. The instrumentals give the sense of a simpler time however it’s the vocals that somewhat make the song harder to listen to.

We see Green Day stray back into their old punk roots with I Was a Teenage Teenager as the band reflects on their youth and how puberty affected them. The song follows an outsider who hates going to school as he feels alienated by society in general. This was actually one of my least favorite tracks upon first listen but has quickly turned into a favorite.

Stab You in the Heart sees Green Day go full on 50’s rock and roll as they take inspiration from Little Richard’s famous track Tutti Frutti. As for the story, this song refers to an angry narrator who is ready to kill his wife after discovering her infidelity. Most fans have also compared it to sound very similar to one of their previous albums ¡Dos!.

The shortest track on this album at just 1 minute and 54 seconds, Sugar Youth, shows an anxious narrator at a party, who’s scared to go alone, and is desperate to get a girl to spend the night with. This has quickly become a favorite for me as it somewhat resembles the Green Day that I have grown to love over the years.

They take it down quite a few notches with Junkies on a High as we are told the story of a narrator relaxing and reflecting about himself, and getting high while the world crumbles around him. I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of this track on first listen but it has become another favorite for me as it once again feels similar to what I expected to get from the same band that put out Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Take the Money and Crawl is easily my favorite song on this entire album as it tackles a fast Motown type of sound and has such a catchy chorus. This track refers to living the wildlife, and being a mess. It details how some people are just servants of others and how they just barely get enough money to pass by.

The closer of this album, Graffita, is actually probably my least favorite track overall and has been one of the only songs that I haven’t come back to listen to when I don’t have to. The lyrics refer to the Rust Belt factories in the 80’s getting closed down and black kids getting shot by Chicago police officers due to prejudices.

Father of All… was a hard album to read at first, but after further examination I can safely say that I enjoyed this record. It definitely does drop in quality in some areas but overall I feel that this was a great attempt at experimentation and I look forward to seeing what Green Day does now that they will be going independent following this release.

“Father of All…”

Reprise Records

Released: February 7, 2020

Rating: ⅘

Favorite Tracks: Take the Money and Crawl, Sugar Youth, I Was a Teenage Teenager, Oh Yeah!, Fire, Ready, Aim, Father of All…

Least Favorite Tracks: Graffita, Meet Me on the Roof