Friday, March 11, 2005

Green Day are just "Shoplifters"...

Rhapsody has a new non-album Green Day track called "Shoplifter." I checked it out the other day, because I've been fairly pleased with what I've heard of American Idiot. I was listening casually and I noticed something familiar about it. It sounds a lot like the Clash's "Bankrobber." I listened more closely to see if they had really ripped the Clash or if they had simply used part of it for effect. I think it was the latter. They lifted the feel of the verse, added a bit of a shuffle and called it their own. While the subtle point of comparing the shoplifter to the bankrobber simply by borrowing a little music from the Clash is pretty cool, it was a little bit lost on me, because I drew another conclusion (one that I doubt Green Day intended). The conclusion is simply this: shoplifters are to bankrobbers as Green Day is to the Clash. On American Idiot, Green Day tries to be a bit more serious and take on social and political issues, but they come off as amateurs next to the Clash who were social and political to their very core.

Take that as a knock on Green Day or praise for the Clash or both. Either way, it shouldn't discourage you from checking out American Idiot or "Shoplifter." They might not hold a candle to a Clash album, but they're fine recordings by a band I have every reason to believe had sold out except for the fact that they still make good punk records that sure make it seem like success hasn't really changed them. They'll never be the Clash, but that's okay, because they do a pretty good job of being Green Day.


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