Creatively Boundless

Great Expectations – Brendan Agnew by ajallen92
March 29, 2009, 6:38 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

It’s the fear that lurks in the mind of every great group ever. We’ve achieved greatness, possibly even recorded a masterpiece. Now that we have our milestone album, where do we go from here? It’s what many say drove Kurt Cobain into his downward spiral, and has put so much pressure on many notable artists. Within the next few months, legendary pop punk pioneers Green Day,Bob Dylan,hip-hop legends the Fugees and a handful of other acts who’ve had a fair amount of praise come there way, release new albums to the world.

Green Day are a band that have certainly faced high expectations before. Many punk rock fans dismissed them after the massive success of their major label debut, 1994’s Dookie, which put them in the spotlight during the alternative rock explosion of the early 90’s. Since then, in my opinion, at least, they’ve made consistently great, energetic and clever punk rock records. However, as time went on, there was somewhat of a schism among Green Day fans. Their 1997 album Nimrod had their famous/infamous single, the acoustic ballad “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”. Listeners of the band either admired the new more introspective songwriting style guitarist/frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, or gritted their teeth everytime they  had to hear their favorite punk group on Seinfeld or at countless weddings.

2004’s American Idiot expanded Green Day’s audience and critical acclaim, but also got them an army of new naysayers. Personally, i thought American Idiot was one of the better albums in recent years. It was an unexpected move on Green Day’s part ( a band used to 3 minute punk songs writing 9 minute epics) and was completely original and edgy. While ballads like “Wake Me up When September Ends” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” were the favorites of 12 year old girls worldwide, songs like “American Idiot” “St. Jimmy” and the 9 minutes long “Jesus of Suburbia” still had the sarcasm and energy of the band’s old recordings.However, many people weren’t quite as impressed, quick to call the group sell outs when they began touring arenas and performing on VH1.  Whatever you may thought of the album, if you were at all conscious in 2004-2005, you couldn’t avoid Green Day if you wanted to. The record made them omnipresent, and for quite a while, they were the most significant band in all of rock music.

Since the epic tour of nearly 2 years in support of American Idiot, Green day have been somewhat out of the picture. THey released an album under the fake name of Foxboro Hot tubs, which had a more 60’s garage rock feel. Billie Joe even played a few shows with his former side project, Pinhead Gunpowder. But Green Day as we know them haven’t been all over the music world the way they were in 2004 for the past few years. Apparently, they’ve been working on the upcoming 21st Century Breakdown, due to be released Friday May 15th. To my personal excitement, and the dismay of others, it’s another rock opera. However, there’s the obvious fear of an album not quite up to the level of American Idiot. Most critics surely won’t ignore this fact, and comparisons to their previous album will be how their new piece is judged.

Green Day aren’t the only group releasing long awaited albums though. Heaven and Hell, or Black Sabbath without Ozzy Osbourne, are set to release the album The Devil You KNow on April 28th. Sabbath has had similar fan dillemas to Green Day. Many fans of the Ozzy Osbourne era of Black Sabbath weren’t quite as fond of second frontman Ronnie James Dio  who took his place, and vice versa. Many thought Ozzy Osbourne was the true spirit of Black Sabbath with his insane antics. The Meat Puppets, an act who influenced the likes of Nirvana and Sonic Youth, are also releasing a new album, which will probably have fairly high expectations, knowing their reputation among critics.

Needless to say, expect a review of the new Green Day album from me on Creatively Boundless at some point.


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