For Green Day chords, tabs, and lyrics, click HERE!
By Chris Moore:
Hello and welcome to your all-new Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions. It’s been a while since I’ve featured a recently released song, so I’m going to put an end to that right now.
Tonight, I present to you “Peacemaker,” a track from Green Day’s 2009 album 21st Century Breakdown. This is perhaps my quickest turnaround time from the release of a song to the recorded Laptop Session, as this album just hit the record store racks on Saturday. I don’t know why Green Day opted for a “special Saturday release,” but it was kind of cool to have something brand new (and on sale!) on the shelves when I was browsing Newbury Comics this weekend.
What is my take on the album, you might ask? Well, it DID knock Bob Dylan’s Together Through Life out of the number one spot in the UK, but I suppose I can overlook that…
Seriously, I don’t really know why I keep buying Green Day records. One of my favorite lines from the movie Fracture is when a doctor asks the Ryan Gosling character, “Do you always keep asking the same question until you get a different answer?” He responds, “I’m a lawyer. That’s what I do.” In this case, I’ve never been a fan of the band. I liked early hits like “When I Come Around,” but I couldn’t get into their acclaimed album Dookie. I’ve never really given it a fair shake, so it has ended up back in my “To Be Listened To” pile (currently housed in my Best Buy-exclusive Together Through Life crate — thank you, Mike!).
I finally picked up their 2004 album American Idiot after recommendations from several friends and critical acclaim from multiple music magazines, but I have yet to get into that album, as well. I have consistently found it somehow too blunt. Even the songs that I like — yes, mostly the overplayed radio hits — strike me as too formulated, too stamped out for the enjoyment of the average mainstream listener. Who knows; perhaps someday I’ll be able to break the code of this concept album.
That is indeed why I picked up this latest installment in the Green Day catalog: it’s a concept album based loosely around the story of two characters named Christian and Gloria. As with American Idiot, I much prefer to pay attention to the thematic threads. Now, whereas in the 2004 album I have never been able to appreciate the lyrics, I have found several tracks on this new album that I like for several reasons — the lyrics, the overall instrumental sound, and Billie Joe Armstrong’s vocals. Not to sound even more critical or anything, but Armstrong’s vocals on American Idiot have a tendency to get on my nerves. That being said, he plays with his range and style in several different ways on this album. Some songs are stripped down to basic piano or acoustic, and some songs are layered from top to bottom with spot-on vocal harmonies and distortion guitar blasts. From start to finish, the album generally knows when to slow it down and when to kick it up a notch.
I have only heard the album three times in full, so I should reserve any final opinions for the future. What I do know is that I like this concept album much more than American Idiot, from the sound all the way down to the album art. Like their previous album, the cover artwork and liner notes are beautiful, carefully designed pages that feature the handwritten lyrics and various background designs. If nothing else, this is a band that tries really hard to create an album that works as a whole. And, after five years since their last album — more time between releases than ever before — they’ve certainly had enough time to perfect this one!
Without further ado, I’ll let you move on to my cover song music video of “Peacemaker.” This is sure to be one of Jim’s favorite sessions of the year, so it may be difficult to outdo myself next week. And yet, I suppose I’ll just have to try… 🙂
See you next session!