This is Green Day at its best on ‘Revo­lu­tion Ra­dio’

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - PREVIEW - By Sam Gn­erre Con­tact Sam Gn­erre at sgn­ or @samgn­erre on Twit­ter. South­ern Cal­i­for­nia News Group

Con­cept al­bums, Broad­way mu­si­cal adap­ta­tions, a pub­lic on-stage melt­down — Green Day’s road to “Revo­lu­tion Ra­dio” has been one chaotic ride.

To emerge from all the chaos after a four-year lay­off with what may be the best al­bum of the Oak­land band’s ca­reer seems some­what mirac­u­lous, but the ev­i­dence is all here in the grooves.

Not a note seems to be out of place or a mo­ment wasted on “Revo­lu­tion Ra­dio,” whose songs pour forth with such con­sis­tent melodic in­ven­tion and vis­ceral im­pact that it sounds like a great­esthits al­bum.

Most of us can re­late to “I’m run­ning late to some­where now that I don’t want to be,” the open­ing line of the al­bum’s open­ing track, “Some­where Now,” but it’s only the open­ing salvo of this uni­formly strong work.

Lead guitarist, vo­cal­ist and song­writer Bil­lie Joe Arm­strong ex­cels at all three of those ac­tiv­i­ties here, but his song­writ­ing is the en­gine that drives “Revo­lu­tion Ra­dio.”

From pound­ing rock­ers such as “Bang Bang” and the brief but deliri­ously in­fec­tious “Bounc­ing Off the Wall,” to more re­flec­tive num­bers such as “Say Good­bye” and the clos­ing acous­tic bal­lad, “Or­di­nary World,” Arm­strong’s songs weld hook-filled melodies to thought­ful, so­cially aware lyrics in ways that few other con­tem­po­rary song­writ­ers can match.

With its in­spi­ra­tional and uni­ver­sal mes­sage, “Still Breath­ing” should be the na­tional an­them for sur­vivors of all hu­man calami­ties — ad­dic­tion, vi­o­lence, de­pres­sion, you name it.

Arm­strong even pulls off a three-part, nearly seven-minute epic, “For­ever Now,” which opens with two glow­ing pow­er­pop seg­ments, fol­lowed by a reprise of “Some­where Now” bathed in lush Beach Boys-style vo­cal har­monies. It’s un­ex­pected, and daz­zling.

The band — Arm­strong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drum­mer Tre Cool — pro­duced the al­bum them­selves in near-to­tal se­crecy, get­ting a rich, full sound that bursts out of the speak­ers, with Cool’s ex­plo­sive drum­ming de­serv­ing spe­cial praise.

COVER COUR­TESY OF REPRISE RECORDS Green Day’s “Revo­lu­tion Ra­dio”

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