The day has finally arrived! New music from Green Day! No matter the outcome, this is essentially a national holiday for me so keep reading if you love to read complex and rambling emotions about music. But that’s not all we’ve got to listen to – there’s been a real avalanche of new tunes, from the Birds of Prey soundtrack to new tracks from French sensation Christine and the Queens. This is also my 100th article for the Edge so it’s an exciting time all around. It’s a big week, so let’s get right into it!
Green Day – Father of All…
All I can do here is try my best to keep it together in this review and actually write coherently. Green Day’s 13th album Father of All… has managed to surprise me, as I seem to fall in the middle of the two extremes of Green Day fans who are listening to it. While some label it as soulless sellout drivel, others deem it better than 2016’s Revolution Radio; neither of which I agree with. Father of All… is an experimental record with highs and lows, but at the end of the day it’s upbeat rock ‘n’ roll. Is it the emotionally driven epic of American Idiot, or the chaotic powerhouse Dookie? No, but it also isn’t trying to be.
Looking at the tracks we hadn’t previously heard, ‘Meet Me On The Roof’ starts off Green Day’s new music. It recently became the album’s fourth single, although it wouldn’t be my first choice. Following on from the title track and ‘Fire, Ready, Aim’, it really isn’t something that stands out. It is at this point in the album that the clapping starts to get repetitive, a tool that is used in almost every track. But following this is the divisive ‘I Was A Teenage Teenager’ (a potential reference to Against Me!’s iconic ‘I Was A Teenage Anarchist’), a retrospective view of authentic teenage experience. Although some of the lyrics sound juvenile for a thirteenth album, the chorus stands out as belting and powerful, and carries on the same kind of sound we loved on Revolution Radio.
‘Stab You In The Heart’ is an angry gem that takes its inspiration directly from 50s rock ‘n’ roll in an exciting way. Previously, we had only heard this influence on the band’s side projects, Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Longshot, but Father of All… sees the sound bleed into Green Day too.
Although ‘Sugar Youth’ didn’t feel significant on my first listen, a quick dive into the lyrics changed my mind. Lines like “I’ve got a fever, a non-believer” echo 21st Century Breakdown‘s ‘Peacemaker’, one of their more devastatingly underrated tunes, while “I got a feeling and it’s dangerous” hints at the melody of American Idiot‘s ‘She’s A Rebel’. ‘Junkies on a High’ takes an intriguing turn into dark indie that we haven’t heard from Green Day before. Father of All… ends on a high with ‘Take the Money and Crawl’ and ‘Graffitia’, the latter being a much more politically themed than what the band made this record out to be. “Another black kid was shot in town /A man with the badge and a daytime show” doesn’t hide its despair at current events, and feels like the Green Day that we all know and love.
Father of All… is a complicated and divisive release. While a number of the songs carry on the good work of Revolution Radio, others feel repetitive and out of place among Green Day’s back catalogue. But my advice is this: don’t take Father of All… on a superficial level. Don’t let YouTube comments affect your opinion – and if you want to see the subtle genius of the album, take a deep dive into the lyrics. In the midst of political unrest, Green Day have gone in a direction that no one expected. The result is music to dance to as the world ends around you – and it may just be exactly what we need.
Green Day’s Father of All… is out now via Reprise Records.
Various Artists – Birds of Prey: The Album
Alongside the release of Harley Quinn’s solo spectacular we get to hear the film’s empowering soundtrack: an unstoppable ode to great women on this badass, no-nonsense collection. It’s a super cool mix of genres, from Megan Thee Stallion’s rap to Maisie Peters’ fun pop, and the cherry on top is Halsey’s BMTH-produced adventure in heavy rock. There’s something here for everyone, and though I’m yet to see the movie itself, the soundtrack is really getting me hyped.
There are a lot of standout tracks on this compilation, most notably Megan Thee Stallion and Normai’s ‘Diamonds’ which, since its release, has impressed music fans. Both are some of the biggest new names in rap and ‘Diamonds’ fits the album perfectly. Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Black Canary’s performance of ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s World’ is a smooth track that makes a change from the generally high-energy feel of the album. But as I mentioned, Halsey really takes the crown on this album; ‘Experiment On Me’ is exactly what I like to hear from the singer. Similar to her 2019 track ‘Nightmare’, ‘Experiment On Me’ is a loud and unapologetic tribute to emo rock.
Birds of Prey: The Album is out now via Atlantic Records.
Christine and the Queens – ‘People, I’ve Been Sad’
Christine and the Queens is rapidly standing out as one of this generation’s musical icons, and quite rightly too. This new track follows on the melancholy lyrics that were omnipresent throughout her last album, Chris, which was consistently recognised as one of the best of 2018. And of course, she sings in both French and English, manipulating language to fit her lyrical narrative and consequently highlighting herself as a unique artist.
Christine and the Queens’ ‘People, I’ve Been Sad’ is out now via Because Music.
Circa Waves – ‘Sad Happy’
‘Sad Happy’ continues Circa Waves’ upcoming double album of the same name, following the release of Sad in early January. There’s definitely a difference in tone between ‘Sad Happy’ and the first instalment from Circa Waves. The new track represents feel good indie, with its synth and strong bassline. There’s definitely a melancholic element to ‘Sad Happy’, linking together the two feelings that form the album’s paradoxical title.
Circa Waves’ ‘Sad Happy’ is out now via Prolifica Inc.
King Krule – ‘Alone, Omen 3’
Building on his interesting blend of jazz, punk and hip-hop, King Krule is certainly making a name within the alternative music scene. ‘Alone, Omen 3’ is a stripped-back, guitar-focused track with soft, laid-back vocals. If you prefer your music heavier, you might not react very strongly to this new single, but King Krule’s recent recognition is justified – he’s mixing genres in a very refreshing and totally new way.
King Krule’s ‘Alone, Omen 3’ is out now via XL Recordings Ltd.
Other Selected Releases
5 Seconds of Summer – ‘No Shame’
Anne-Marie – ‘Birthday’
Justin Bieber, Quavo – ‘Know Your Worth’
The Magic Gang – ‘Think’
Niall Horan – ‘No Judgement’
Nicki Minaj – ‘Yikes’
Pussycat Dolls – ‘React’
HMLTD – West of Eden
Hayley Williams – Petals For Armour I
La Roux – Supervision
Oh Wonder – No One Else Can Wear Your Crown
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Need a weekly music fix of all the songs you should care about? We’ve made a super handy playlist of all of this week’s biggest releases, so just sit back and listen to the good stuff. Updated every Friday.