Outside of finding myself in a Guantanamo-like situation, I never thought I’d listen to three Green Day albums in a six-week period. And yet here we are.
“¡Tre!” completes the band’s ambitious trilogy of albums, all filled with new music, that began in late September with “¡Uno!” It was a regrettable start. Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool sounded uninspired, as if doing pale imitations of their own fairly limited palette. “¡Dos!” was a huge upgrade that embraced the band’s pop-punk history and tried to have a little harmless fun.
“¡Tre!” is closer in quality to “¡Dos!” than it is to “¡Uno!,” but a few of the songs lean on different precedents and show off another aspect of Armstrong’s record collection. Where the first two albums largely fell in line with Green Day’s best-known material — attitude-driven rock songs with huge, telegraphed hooks — this one sometimes takes inspiration from early pop.
“Brutal Love” liberally borrows from Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me,” for example, while “Amanda” sounds like a track from “With The Beatles.” For “Walk Away,” the band cleverly moves into Hollies-imitating-The-Beatles territory. Elsewhere, it’s more or less pure Green Day, which you’re gonna like if that’s what you like.
And so the great experiment is over. No more upside-down exclamation points. Thank God.