By Green Day
Billie Joe Armstrong sings The American Dream Is Killing Me fervently on the opening track of Green Day’s 14th studio album, Saviors.
It’s been three decades since their breakout album and the veteran punkpop trio have managed to capture rare form on their latest project by opting for a more garage-rock sound compared to recent, more experimental, attempts.
On Bobby Sox, the verses stay sweet and tempered, while the distorted guitars and shouted vocals unleash triumphantly on the choruses. The driving bass line and drums particularly impress on 1981, while the memorable chorus “She’s gonna bang her head like 1981” sticks with you.
The breezy melody on Suzie Chapstick oozes nostalgia, especially when the backing vocals kick in and emotions are laid bare on Father to a Son as Billie sings to his two boys, apologising for his mistakes and promising to be “a lighthouse in the storm”.
The opening riffs on Strange Days Are Here to Stay sound reminiscent of Basket Case but it finds its own path as the song proceeds. Here he laments “ever since Bowie died, it hasn’t been the same” – it would be hard not to agree.
By Kid Cudi
Since his era-defining 2009 debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, Kid Cudi has been an influential voice in hip-hop.
Now approaching 40 and feeling he’s given his best through previous projects, Kid considered retiring but it was while attending a Kendrick Lamar concert in Paris last year that inspiration struck and a series of events later, he announced his ninth studio album, Insano.
DJ Drama’s booming voice kicks off the album with Often, I Have These Dreamz and he hosts the entirety of the 21-track LP in his signature style. Kid soon jumps in, with his laidback melodic drone effortlessly dancing across the track. The energy stays high on Keep Bouncing and Get Off Me, featuring Travis Scott.
The album’s production has a strong trapheavy influence compared to previous projects, with Kid bringing upbeat performances but stepping back lyrically.
We get his best vintage self on Wow with ASAP Rocky, a standout anthemic hook with a tight guest verse, and Ace of Base’s All That She Wants is surprisingly sampled on Electrowavebaby.
With Cud Life, Porsche Topless and Blue Sky, it’s quite clear Kid’s having fun again and it shows.