It took until the fourth song of the second album in Green Day’s ongoing ¡! trilogy of albums, but there’s finally a legitimate Great Green Day Song in here. There were so many great melodies, huge beats, and banging moments in Green Day’s early albums that it was easy to get excited about ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tre!, but the reality of ¡Uno! squashed that excitement so thoroughly that the impending release of ¡Dos! offered little more than trepidation. And for three tracks, that trepidation is justified, even if lowered expectations made for less outright disappointment. “See You Tonight” is pleasant-if-unspectacular acoustic toss-off, “Fuck Time” is catchy but also ridiculous, misogynist, and childish, and “Stop When the Red Lights Flash” is a forgettable reason to call back to one of the more cryptic lines of “Oh Love”.
But “Lazy Bones”? This is the good stuff. This is where Green Day finds a pop hook and runs it into the ground, ingraining it in our heads in the way that they seemed to so easily in the mid ’90s. From the wailed backing vocals in the chorus to the way the lyrics casually call back some of Green Day’s biggest singles, “Lazy Bones” is a winner through and through.
And, almost miraculously at this point, it’s not the last!
“Wild One”, which directly follows “Lazy Bones”, is the song “Oh Love” should have and could have been. It’s a meticulous slow burn that actually has a trajectory, that seems to slowly build as it goes along, that offers sticky little melodies that don’t let go. If “Wild One” was the first thing I’d heard from ¡Uno!, maybe my entire perception of that album changes. “Stray Heart” is a pleasant little ditty that feels a little like Phil Collins’ version of “You Can’t Hurry Love” (if you listen close, you can even hear the trademarked Phil Collins vocal delay treatment) as played by a garage band. Closer “Amy” is a nice little Billie-and-a-guitar tribute to Amy Winehouse that only suffers a bit for some awkward lyrical choices, but is otherwise a heartfelt and fine way to end the album.
And then there’s “Nightlife”, late-album filler that may actually win the title of Most Hated Green Day Song, Like, Ever. Apparently employing a female rapper for the verses makes for trash. And you know, on any technical level, she’s not a great rapper, but I like what they’re going for here, and again, it’s catchier than anything on ¡Uno!, so I’m sold.
The rest of the tracks employ a fairly consistent ’60s/’70s vibe that serves as an intentional callback to Green Day’s alter-ego band Foxboro Hot Tubs. While there’s not a whole lot to remember, the vibe is certainly a lot more fun than two months ago’s album, as it doesn’t sound as though it’s actively daring you to turn it off the whole time.
Honestly, maybe that’s the most we can expect on an album where the chorus of a song goes “OH BABY BABY IT’S FUCK TIME” without a shred of irony. ¡Dos! is a passable Green Day album, one that I may even put on before I reduce myself to giving, say, Warning a spin. In the context of having just released ¡Uno!, that has to be considered a success.