3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Green Day

For some reason, the California-born punk rock band Green Day is polarizing. Perhaps it’s because they participate in a genre that is supposed to pride itself on remaining underground. Perhaps it’s that their songs are just oh so catchy? But either way, the group that brought the world Dookie remains divisive amongst music fans.

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But not here. Below, we wanted to share a trio of tunes from the band, which is fronted by singer Billie Joe Armstrong, that demonstrate power, pop stickiness, and song lyrics that both make the mind think and feel at home. Indeed, these are three songs for people who say they don’t like Green Day.

[RELATED: Watch Green Day Perform ‘American Idiot’ Fan-Favorite Tracks for the First Time in Nearly Two Decades]

“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” from Nimrod (1997)

A reflective, nostalgic, acoustic-driven song from a band known for its buzzy electric guitar-driven, three-power-chord tracks. This song, from the band’s 1997 LP Nimrod, was written about an ex-girlfriend of Armstrong’s who left town. The song was written early in his career but when he showed it to his bandmates during the Dookie recording sessions, the track was deemed too different from the rest of the songs and so it was shelved for later. Ironicly, a punk band releasing an acoustic song is, in the end, pretty darn rebellious. On the track, Armstrong sings,

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It’s something unpredictable
But in the end, it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life

“When I Come Around” from Dookie (1994)

When it comes down to it there are a number of songs from the band’s 1994 breakout LP Dookie that could make this list. Indeed, from “Longview” to “Basket Case” and “Welcome to Paradise,” the record is a veritable greatest hits album. But this song, “When I Come Around,” showcases the group’s frontman’s signature rubber ball-like vocals best. It’s as if the drums and bass guitar provide the walls upon which Armstrong’s voice can carom and careen. As for the lyrics, the song is much about how great the singer is and how he is sought after. A real pop-punk flex. On the song, Armstrong sings,

I heard you crying loud, all the way across town
‘Cause you been searching for that someone
And it’s me out on the prowl
As you sit around feeling sorry for yourself

Well, don’t get lonely now, and dry your whining eyes
I’m just roaming for the moment
Sleazin’ my back yard so don’t get
So uptight you been thinking about ditching me

No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around

“American Idiot” from American Idiot (2004)

From the 2004 concept album of the same name, this is a protest song raging against American mass media, consumerism, and George W. Bush-era politics. Armstrong believed the country was submitting to a type of reality television war pornography during the conflict in Iraq and, as a result, it was brainwashing the people. While the song may be offensive to some, it is really a call to action and an entry for individuality. Sings Armstrong,

Don’t wanna be an American idiot
Don’t want a nation under the new media
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mindf–k America

Welcome to a new kind of tension
All across the alien nation
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay
In television dreams of tomorrow
We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow
For that’s enough to argue

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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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