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Dookie

Green Day

1994

This was the record that broke Green Day into the mainstream, and deservedly so.  With songs like "Longview", "Welcome to Paradise", "Basket Case", "She", and "When I Come Around", almost half of the album is practically a greatest hits package.  And while the supporting material isn't bad, it's not necessarily great either, which is what keeps Dookie from being an amazing album, the pedestrian nature of the supporting tracks found here.  Nonetheless, taken as a whole, "Dookie" is a very good album, which features some of the band's best songs...a 90s classic no doubt.

8.6

Warning

Green Day - Warning cover.jpg

Green Day

2000

I've never really been a huge Green Day fan, yet every time I listen to them I am reminded of just how great they truly are.  For years I was perfectly happy to throw on International Superhits, a greatest hits album that fulfilled virtually all of my Green Day listening needs.  I had dabbled into a few of their albums, but always had a hard time listening to them straight through.  Even Dookie, an album with several great songs, had always been a minor chore to complete in one sitting, which I attribute to the fact that deep down, I'm not much of a fan of pop-punk music at all.  

But Green Day has always been the exception to that rule, as their best songs are just too damn infectious and invigorating not to be enjoyed either casually or emphatically.  And Warning, an album that sports a more mature, somewhat experimental, and endearing version of the band, is truly the only album in their catalog that is solid from start to finish.  On Warning, the band eliminates the occasionally bratty sounding filler that plagued their prior records in favor of fully formed songs that sport more of an earnest "When I Come Around" type of vibe, which happens to be right up my alley.  Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of spunk to be found here, but it all goes down nice and smooth for the most part.  It's a dutiful record, and I hate to overuse the term "earnest" but that's the predominate vibe found here.  Additionally, the band stretches out and adds a few very un-Green Day like instruments to some songs, like the accordion on "Misery", the harmonica on "Hold On", and the saxophone on "Jackass".  And somewhat surprisingly, it all works very well, enhancing the effect of each song.

Green Day also explores the more endearing/melodic aspects of their sound on "Waiting" (a song that's almost auto-biographical to me), and the yearning/somewhat melancholy closer "Macy's Day Parade".

Overall, while this album does not feature a slew of great songs like on Dookie, it is a more listenable, mature, and well-rounded album in my eyes.  If listenability and earnesty are hallmarks of a great album, Warning has it in spades.  

9.0

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