Dookie-Green Day

dookie

Dookie

Green Day

1994

Reprise Records

Remember where you were, 1994, you heard your first Green Day tune-perhaps on the radio or MTV. I do, I was 4. (What can I say, I had cool parents.) Okay, okay, I wasn’t wearing flannel and hitting shows and feeling apathetic being a part of “generation-x” in the 90; I was a child. Quite frankly, the best thing about Green Day’s third studio full length album, Dookie, is that no matter what generation you belong to it’s an album that connects to the “teen angst” years for everyone; it’s a perfect fit. This album is the dead on definition of everyone’s life at one time or another; a personal anthem in under an hour. Billie-Joe takes the words right out of your mouth. The raw, grunge-punk-whatever you want to call it- noise defines every apathetic feeling you have in your body, no matter who you are.

The first line of the album begins, “I declare I don’t care no more,” in “Burnout.”  This puts the entire album into place.  It’s obvious you aren’t getting heart-felt power ballads with this disc.  You’re getting out-and-out feelings of pure apathy at its very best.  Obviously, Green Day spent a lot of the 90s, like many others, stoned.  This song isn’t exactly about that-compare the feelings to this song to the overall feel of the 90s and “Generation-X” if you will.  No one felt they were going anywhere-many kids didn’t exactly feel they were worth much.  This song sings to them, and everyone else at one point in time where you just feel like you’re going nowhere.  This song gives the listener the opportunity to take a step into Billie Joe’s psyche; with the looks of it, it’s all pretty hazy.

The album then moves on from being bored and stoned to hating everyone and everything-who can’t connect with that now, guys? Thing is, Green Day pulls this emotion off in such a manner that it doesn’t sound dark, just sounds, for a lack of a better word, upbeat.  “Having A Blast,” amongst most of the album, is a clear indication of Billie Joe’s manic state of mind while creating this album.  His expression is not only in the lyrics but with the help of Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt, the whole song, and album really, is tied together with such intensity that its impossible to ignore.

The third song on the album is, “Chump.”  Yet another melodic, yet with a quick tempo and full of distortion.  This song is blatantly about jealousy of another, Billie Joe doesn’t exactly mask his feelings. The bridge in the song allows Mike Dirnt to express his bass-playing abilities.  As the tempo quickens the song comes to an end; leading oh-so-cleverly into “Long View.”

Ask anyone in the world, when they hear that bass walk-down in the opening of “Long View,” nine times out of ten they can identify the song before the verse even begins.  Every instrument, every lyric, every iota of this song just meshes so well.  No wonder it became such a hit in the 90s.

Following “Long View” is “Welcome to Paradise.”  This song was not originally created for this album; it first appeared on Dookie’s preceding album, Kerplunk! However, this version has a much cleaner and more powerful sound.  Billie Joe’s grief towards his dwellings at that point in time is evident in the lyrics of the song.

Breaking away from the pains of being away from home, a lighter tune follows with, “Pulling Teeth.”  The song reflects on an abusive relationship. Except, Billie Joe is the abused. He seems confused about what his love really means with his significant other-although she hurts him, she’s great. A feeling many people can connect with.

“Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once?” bellows Billie Joe in the seventh song and perhaps greatest “hit” on the album, “Basket Case.” The lyrics show Billie Joe’s manic state once more-he feels he is going insane as many do at one point or another.  Aside from the lyrics a moment, focusing on the instrumental piece of the song, the fast guitar strumming, incredible drum beats, the great bass lines. Bottom line, this song flows.  Tre Cool really gives it his all with this song. Some may argue musically Green Day doesn’t provide a wide range for musical ability, however one must remember their genre and the sound they are going for. Dookie was meant to be a simple album.

The next song on the album is, “She.”  It opens with a catchy bass line-as Mike Dirnt is quite handy with those.  The sound is quite powerful in this song.  Moving away from boredom to issues, once more.  This song sings to a generation, in a sense-learning that everything you knew was a lie.

“Sassafras Roots,” returns us to our bored and stoned state.  Billie Joe’s lyrics once more define the persona of the 90s-feeling like a waste, feeling like you are going nowhere.  Why not have someone to join you in being a waste? This song is energetic and stays true to the genre of music Green Day is known for portraying.

“When I Come Around,” perhaps the break-up anthem, without ending in a sob story, of the 90s.  The distortion, the power chords, great basslines, drumbeats, slower tempo,  but incredible flow. (Even a mild guitar solo in there!) Hands down, this song is one everyone can connect to-if not lyrically then musically.

Following, “When I Come Around,” is, “Coming Clean.”  This is another song proclaiming teen-angst and battles with finding ones self-both as a being as well as pertaining to one’s sexuality as well.  His struggles and confusion about life in general are evident on this album in each and every song-but probably most potently in this one.

“Emenius Sleepus,” brings us to an issue many of us have encountered-meeting up with an old friend who has gone way off the deep end.  The song, like the rest of the album, is done in its alternative-pop-punk-whatever you call it-fashion; its rather upbeat and energetic.

Aside from the fact that “In the End,” seems to be quite obviously about, yet again, jealously over an ex moving on to another.  However, the song is at a quickened tempo and just under two minutes.  Billie Joe’s vocals range in different ways in this song, adding a different flare to the song.  The bridge also offers a miniature bass solo for Mike Dirnt as well-giving the song a more fun effect.

The album ends with “F.O.D.”  The first minute plus of the song is Billie Joe singing along with a guitar.  Midway through the song, the distortion kicks in along with the rest of the band joining in.  The perfect ending to this album-goes out with a bang.

Overall, Dookie has been a top-selling album since 1994.  Reason being is it still projects its meaning to its audiences the way it was originally intended to do.  People can connect with this album-its full of emotions that so many people feel. It’s raw, apathetic yet energetic. It’s an anthem for the jaded-an anthem for those who are feeling a little lost. It’s an album for anyone who just appreciates good music. If you haven’t heard this album yet, climb out from under your rock and check it out.

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