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CD Reviews:  Green Day: Shenanigans

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Here comes Green Day's post-hits album, pre-new material cash-in. They've released a B-sides record (that's bad), but wisely priced it as a mid-price album (that's good). Luckily, there really is no bad with the good here; these leftovers are actually more than worthy. Many of these songs would have seen the light of day on a lesser band's album. There are a couple misses, but fans of the band should be pleased with the overall results. 

The liner notes, sadly, leave no detail with regard to which songs came from which sessions, but at least the production values of the earlier material give those songs away. The raw and lo-fi sound quality of "I Wanna Be on T.V." puts it before Dookie, and perhaps because of its goofy but fun lyric, it got left behind. Pity, because it's a gem, a reminder of how entertaining the boys were before they decided to grow up. "Desensitized" has a "Geek Stink Breath"- type guitar hook, and their spy theme "Espionage" is killer, and filled out with a brass section, no less. Bonus points for their straight take on the Kinks' "Tired of Waiting for You." To run that through the typical Green Day blender would have rendered it useless, and it would have been a waste of singer Billie Joe Armstrong's uncanny impression of Ray Davies. 

For some of the tracks, well, there is a reason they never made the final cut of any of the albums. "Don't Wanna Fall In Love" just doesn't cut it as either a punker or a rockabilly song (its sound is somewhere in between). Even the leadoff track "Suffocate" has an unshakable sense of the familiar. 

It may be derogatory to call Shenanigans a fans-only affair, but come on, we're talking about a B-sides album here. They're like remix albums, only for the diehards. However, as supposedly needless filler albums go, Shenanigans is a good one, and with the band evolving into a more mature pop band, this is the perfect time to sell the early rough stuff before it sounds too dated.  

~David Medsker : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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