Green Day have released 12 albums across their 31-year career as a band, but there are two favourites above all. If you ask most Green Day fans what their favourite albums are, they will answer with one of two albums: Dookie or American Idiot. Dookie’s angry punk captured the hearts of rock fans all over the globe, and then American Idiot won them back again. But there is one other album they’ve made that I feel is just as good as the other two, and that is Nimrod.
This album didn’t do as well commercially as American Idiot or Dookie, despite reaching double platinum status in the US. The reason for this could have been that Green Day were coming off a slightly disappointing effort in Insomniac, and people expected less of the band, but it would have been hard to reach the heights that Dookie reached no matter what they’d put out. But I really feel like this is an underrated gem of an album, and here’s why.
The first thing to notice is that this is both stylistically and thematically different from the previous album, Insomniac. For a start the album is a lot more diverse, containing a lot of outside instrumentation for the first time, including strings, horn sections, and even a harmonica in ‘Walking Alone’. It is also a lot less dark, feeling a bit slower and more reflective, but without losing that angry punk edge they were known for at this point. They definitely knew when to turn things up as well, as proven in songs like ‘Take Back’ and ‘Platypus (I Hate You)’,
If you asked me to sum up this album with one song, I couldn’t do it; the album has such a variety of songs that one wouldn’t properly sum it up. I’d have to pick two to represent each side. To represent the softer, more experimental side, I’d pick ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’, a slow, soft, acoustic ballad that showed just how much Green Day were willing to change their sound to create a great song. Other songs in the same vein include the ska-tinged ‘King For A Day’, and the slower ‘Redundant’. The other side of the album is typified by opener ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’, which is stylistically the closest thing to Dookie on this album. Other heavier songs include ‘Jinx’ and ‘Haushinka’.
So, is this as good as Dookie or American Idiot? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t give them a run for their money. Excluding them, it’s almost definitely the best Green Day album. The variety and experimentation that Green Day put into this album is incredible, and it definitely worthy of at least a listen. You won’t regret it.
Best songs: King For A Day, Platypus (I Hate You), The Grouch, Haushinka, Worry Rock