Arguably, Green Day have not made a consistently great record since 2004's 'American Idiot'. Of course, they have made good songs and hearty albums since this career-defining record, but overall they haven't truly sounded like Green Day in a long time. The band have battled personal and professional demons over the years and this album looked to represent a clean slate for the punk trio.
Green Day's thirteenth studio album 'Father Of All...' opens up business with the title-track. The vocal style is distinctly different from the band's previous releases - high-note focused vocal delivery doesn't always work with the funky modern rock tempo, however. 'Fire, Ready, Aim' continues the catchy rock beat of the record but, again, this doesn't sound like the Green Day we know. Vocally, Armstrong is trying too hard to distinguish his performances from previous albums and the overall atmosphere can only be described as basic.
Questionable execution persists as the generic and shallow sounding 'Oh Yeah!' comes into play. At least the prior songs actually tried to be good; 'Oh Yeah!' sounds like the band couldn't be bothered writing it, let alone performing it. If you didn't know any better, 'Meet Me on the Roof' could pass as a demo due to its stripped back vibe and lack of adrenaline. Green Day have lost their bite and this song proves it.
It's well known that bands are sometimes forced to adopt a more mellow sound as they age, but there is a fine line between toning it down and becoming boring. With exception to splashes of life in 'I Was a Teenage Teenager', this record has firmly been in the latter category. Lyrically, this is one of the worst songs Green Day have ever released but it has a punchy beat and at least tries to be fun. Clear Elvis influences arise from the guitar approach of 'Stab You in the Heart', but this turns out to be the paper over the many, many cracks in this tune.
Finally, a kick of undisputed energy sparks from 'Sugar Youth'. Sadly, this song is less than two minutes long so its enigmatic vibe and catchy upbeat atmosphere don't redeem the record as much as they could. Vanilla rock conventions fumble back to the forefront of the album in 'Junkies on a High' with its generic, over-produced feel.
This album has been challenging to say the least but the penultimate tune, 'Take the Money and Crawl', offers some saving grace. Hints of positive energy and even quality emanate from this song as it tries its best to salvage 'Father of All...'. Sadly, 'Graffitia' manages to sabotage these efforts as it gingerly closes the record.
'Father of All...' isn't an awful album but it certainly isn't that good either. It doesn't make you feel happy, sad, angry, righteous or indeed anything at all for that matter because it is too boring to provoke any emotion whatsoever. Overall, this album is just another lacklustre album that adds to the growing pile of poor 2020 releases.