New 90’s: Green Day’s “Oh Love” & No Doubt’s “Settle Down”

Am I back in junior high or what?

Both Green Day and No Doubt have offered up new singles from forthcoming albums. In both cases, the band’s signature sound is present — Green Day’s grungy guitars and crisp melodies, No Doubt’s lovelorn reggae, Billie Joe Armstrong and Gwen Stefani’s distinctive voices. But do these guys still “got it” a couple decades later?

Green Day — “Oh Love”

Green Day is set to release a trio of albums called ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tres!, which is pretty ambitious. Then again, they are the pop-punk band that launched a rock opera, so who knows? I will say that “Oh Love” feels a little soft, even for them. American Idiot and particularly 21st Century Breakdown certainly had some mellow cuts, but they were part of a narrative, and at least had some semblance of socio-political commentary worked in through that. Maybe it’s a lot to ask that Green Day could be as subversive and bratty as they were in the 90’s, and maybe we wouldn’t even want them to be. Still, this one is hard for me to get too worked up about.

No Doubt — “Settle Down”

Both of these tracks are probably “growers,” as many songs are. Neither of them particularly captivated me on first listen, but I give the edge to “Settle Down,” thanks to Stefani’s babydoll vulnerability, still in tact after all these years. (Another couple spins and I’m already liking it more and more.)

Anyway, I’m glad No Doubt and Green Day are still around and making new music. And I’m sure my junior high self would be, too.

Categories: Music

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