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POP MUSIC | Record Rack

** 1/2 GREEN DAY, "Warning," Reprise

October 01, 2000|NATALIE NICHOLS

Isn't "grown-up punk band" a bit paradoxical? (Tell that to No Doubt.) Sure, these veteran revivalists have a No. 1 hit on "modern rock" radio stations with the singsong "Minority," both an eternal-rebel's cry and a guaranteed pit-churner. But such lines as "down with the Moral Majority" (like, duh!) sound a little dusty.

You can't accuse Green Day's sixth album of being recycled, er, "Dookie," however. Judging from the '60s-esque bounce of the title track, a reverb-drenched caution against complacency, the trio appears to be entertaining the notion of turning into . . . Smash Mouth?

Not that frontman-songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool have abandoned their blend of Cali-punk thrash and melodic Buzzcocks-Jam-Clash guitar punch.

Still, these dozen tracks reveal them shaking off the transitional aspects of 1997's "Nimrod" to craft a more coherent, less aggressive but still rebellious collection that also draws on the even older pop traditions of Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Who.

Curiously, the album (due Tuesday) is not filled with monster magnetic hooks, but rather with many catchy numbers that, like previous Green Day efforts, start to sound the same.

Armstrong's continuing maturity shows in heartfelt, if overly poetic, musings about a friend's bad fortune ("Hold On") and being a positive force in the world (the almost Creedence-like "Macy's Day Parade").

But maybe that's not so bad. After all, punk fans grow up too.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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