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Album #331: Billie Joe Armstrong – No Fun Mondays

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Rodeo, California, USA
  • Label: Reprise
  • Best Track: A New England

What’s up with Billie Joe Armstrong at the moment? Not content with playing his part in Green Day’s truly terrible Father of All… album earlier in 2020, he’s gone and dropped another musical turd into the year from hell with this collection of pop-rock covers.

Am I being too serious? To give it some context, No Fun Mondays is a collection of cover songs the Green Day frontman put out every Monday from March to July. It was an attempt to raise his and other people’s spirits, and fair play to him I suppose. I’m all for doing things just because they keep you busy and cheer you up, as this blog is testament to. It’s just a bit of fun.

The problem is, it’s not that much fun to listen to. The Bangles version of ‘Manic Monday’ is more fun, as is Tiffany’s version of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have been putting out simple, enjoyable pop-punk covers for years, but they stick to a theme, change the tempo, add their own lyrics. With the possible except of Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’, Armstrong isn’t really making these songs his own, he’s just regurgitating them in a homogenised, vaguely “rock” style.

Armstrong is a great songwriter and lyricist, but he seems to be going through an inspiration drought right now, sticking his name on anything and thinking it will sell. It probably will too, but let’s hope for a return to form from him in future years, particularly as his band break out of what sounds like a fractious record deal with Warner.

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