sat 16/01/2021

Album: Billie Joe Armstrong - No Fun Mondays | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Billie Joe Armstrong - No Fun Mondays

Album: Billie Joe Armstrong - No Fun Mondays

The Green Day singer offers up his collection of lockdown cover versions

Lockdown can turn even punk rockers into Donovan

During the first lockdown in March, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong took the time to reflect “on the things that matter most in my life: family, friends and, of course, music.” In this sentimental headspace Armstrong began recording covers of songs, releasing them once a week and calling this project No

During the first lockdown in March, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong took the time to reflect “on the things that matter most in my life: family, friends and, of course, music.” In this sentimental headspace Armstrong began recording covers of songs, releasing them once a week and calling this project No Fun Mondays. This album is the complete collection of these covers, which range from interesting to flat out redundant.

The intriguing moments of the album come when it feels like Armstrong is inviting us into his personal record collection. He plays “War Stories” by the obscure Seventies band The Starjets and digs out a deep cut from Californian Punk band The Avengers, “Corpus Christi”. It sounds as if Armstrong is having fun here, even belting out a cover of Italian singer Don Backy’s “Amico”, in Italian no less. These are the project’s highlights.

However, it’s not as much a covers album as it is a covers-of-famous-covers album. Almost every song here is either most widely known as a cover (“I Think We’re Alone Now”) or been covered many times before (“You Can’t Put Your Arm Round a Memory”). John Lennon’s protest song “Gimme Some Truth” has been done by every rock band imaginable, and do we really need another rendition of “Kids in America”? It makes the project sound oddly redundant and uninspired. These already overplayed songs sound stale on arrival, especially since Armstrong doesn’t do much with them. They simply sound exactly what you would expect a Green Day cover of these songs to sound like.

While there’s not a lot to take away from this project, it’s hard to be too cynical. It’s certainly a wholesome affair: he played  “I Think We’re Alone Now” on TV with his two sons and he called up Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles to duet “Manic Mondays”, connecting with family, friends and music like he said he would. It’s ultimately a bit bland but the stakes are low enough for it to not really matter.

Below: Watch Billie Joe Armstrong's No Fun Mondays cover of "Manic Mondays', featuring Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles

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