My Formative Albums Of The 00’s No.4: Green Day – Warning
I told you they wouldn’t all be critical darlings.
Green Day, on their sixth album had grown tired of the three chord pop-punk routine that they had mastered (on Dookie) and done to death (on Nimrod) and were ready to, cliché alert, grow up. Warning earns its place in this countdown because the band, and this album, paralleled each other in their journeys. Around the time Warning came out, I myself was spreading my taste-wings and searching out different styles of music, just as Green Day were doing the same themselves. And I connected with this album a great deal.
And this record stands up as one of their most consistent and satisfying albums from their ‘second period’ (the one after the 39/Smooth/Kerplunk era and before the American Idiot term). This is where Billie-Joe Armstrong really embraced his calling as a classic pop songwriter. Following on from his acoustic ballad Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) on Nimrod, Warning is packed with Elvis Costello-esque melodies and huge pop hooks.
The band clearly got sick of being poster boys for a dying resurgence in punk, and just decided to write tunes for the fun of it. It stands up as their most fearless and inventive recording, and really gave them the freedom they craved as songwriters to become what they always were: a great pop band.