3/5 stars

After doling out such hits as “Basket Case” and “American Idiot,” one might think that a rapid-fire trilogy of albums would be a great idea for the punk rock band that had every teenager of the past two decades belting out “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and swaying to the tune of “Good Riddance” at high school graduation. ¡Dos!, the second chapter of Green Day’s three-part series, however, is not a good basis for such an argument.
However, when compared to the vibe that I got after listening to ¡Uno!, the first installment released in September,  ¡Dos!, which was released Nov. 13, reassures me that the members of Green Day have some inventive material left in them.
The best track of the album is “See You Tonight,” the acoustic opener that unfortunately only lasts just over a minute. The soothing harmonies offer a sound that could be compared to that of Simon and Garfunkel, which is pretty uncharacteristic for a band like Green Day.
“F— Time” and “Stop When the Red Lights Flash” prove to be energetic follow-ups to a solid start, but the generic garage-band feel is bland. Not until “Lazy Bones” does the album pick up again. Its tune is slightly catchier, but most of all, the message seems genuine, even if the lyrics don’t demonstrate the most imaginative songwriting. I believe lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong when he sings, “I’m so tired. I can’t take it anymore,” but the band could surely conceive of a more creative way to express boredom than “the silence is so deafening / it’s like picking at a sore.”
After a few more forgettable and grungy tunes is “Stray Heart.” It’s not surprising that this is the album’s first single, as it calls attention to a beat similar to that in the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” while maintaining the punky feel of the album.
“Nightlife” is refreshingly different and one of the most eclectic songs that Green Day has ever recorded. It features guest vocals from rapper Lady Cobra, and, while I don’t care for it, the song is a strong effort.
Then comes “Amy,” a lovely tribute to Amy Winehouse composed shortly after the singer’s death. The track marks the consequences of a hedonistic lifestyle, and it seems fitting for the end of the album, given Armstrong’s recent struggles with alcohol-related problems.
Based on the less-than-stellar ¡Uno! and the considerably improved ¡Dos!, the question of whether or not Green Day reached too high with a trilogy may be answered by ¡Tré!, the final album that will be released Dec. 11. Until then, savor the memories of blasting “Holiday” in your car with the windows rolled down.

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