Green Day - Dookie - Review
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critics' view

Punk purists may turn their nose up at Green Day, but Dookie, their punk-pop classic album, has stood the test of time, with its sarcasm, self-deprecation, humour , and pop-guitar hooks still standing up after 13 years.

Released in 1994 as their first album on a major label, Dookie arrived at the end of the Nirvana-era, and blasted a hole in the moody grunge enveloping the music world. Spikey, pop-y, arrogant as hell, Dookie is full of attitude and tunes. From opener "Burnout", the album rarely lets up pace, with manic tempos, loud guitars, funky bass and pissed-off lyrics lacing every track.

Burnout itself, while making singer Billie Joe sound oddly nasal, is an almost perfect paean to apathy in society, and follow up, "Having A Blast" is almost as cheery; a just shy of three-minute package full of bile and anger, with raucous guitars and drums suiting it perfectly.

Welcome To Paradise, which catalogues the delights of a dubious neighbourhood, and "Basket Case", a tale of a young man who consults both a shrink (female) and a whore (male) about his neuroses, are both high points of the album. Both were singles, and signaled the arrival of Green Day as a mouthpiece for disaffected youth.

Longview, with its somehow mesmerising base line startles with its quiet-loud-quiet-loud format, and a chorus designed to be screamed from a thousand teenage throats: 'I got no motivation/Where is my motivation?/No time for the motivation/Smoking my inspiration', sums it up quite nicely, thank you.

Low points "Pulling Teeth" and "Emenus Sleepus" don't really add anything to the album; the former plods along and the latter is downright repetitive. "Sassafras Roots" isn't the strongest either, and has a whiff of filler about it.

Dookie is by no means perfect, but it is a stand-out album. If you're looking for 40 minutes full of punk attitude, tunes and biting lyrics, you won't find much better than this.

Helen Groom
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The BBC's album reviews ended in 2013, although the pages are archived for retrospective reading.
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