The second installment in Green Day‘s ambitious trilogy of albums opens with “See You Tonight,” a bare, ragged benediction where Everly Brothers harmonies mask stalker-y undercurrents, and puppy love might turn nasty if you don’t text back soon. Like ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! is full of these moments, where the band follows lineal threads from Dookie-era punk into all manner of overheated angst – nervy-Jam mod soul on “Stray Heart,” Who-mad maximum R&B on “Wow! That’s Loud,” even mascara-streaked soul balladry on the album-closing “Amy,” where Billie Joe Armstrong makes like the skate-park Sam Cooke.
Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool harness the sound of immolating, teenage-wasteland lust for an album with a distinct sense of life coming off the rails: “I can’t stand for fallin’ down/I’m too sick to throw up,” Armstrong sings against a Wipers-like downstroke riff on “Lazy Bones.” He went to rehab in September. Yet while you can read all the pathos you want into “Ashley,” a plea for a meth-addicted friend that comes on like a runaway ambulance, the angst here is as archetypal as it is personal. At times, it’s just as election year urgent as American Idiot, despite being packaged as a batch of shit-hot punk purges with titles like “Fuck Time” rather than a grand rock opera. “I’ll trade you blood for dirty cash,” Armstrong promises on “Stop When the Red Lights Flash.” In any guise, dude channels the voice of America.
Listen to ‘¡Dos!’