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For the final installment of Green Day’s back-to-basics trilogy, we hear more from the band’s teary pop “Good Riddance” side than from its snotty punk “Longview” side. Not that “¡Tré!” is all wistful, but it does upend the equation presented on “¡Dos!,” which had a little mellow mixed in with mostly snarl. The dozen tracks on “¡Tré!” spotlight acoustic guitars, harmony vocals, piano, and strings. The top half of the record has some nice moments of contrast; there’s the creepy “Drama Queen” wrapped in chipper melody and guitar strumming, and the broken-hearted “Missing You” delivered along propulsive rock lines. And while Green Day crafted the “¡Uno!” “¡Dos!” “¡Tré!” series presumably to step away from the rock operas it was producing, the band anchors the second half of this record with the 6½-minute, four-movement “Dirty Rotten Bastards.” There’s also an “Occupy”-influenced political statement delivered in “99 Revolutions.” But Green Day still sounds best when it’s confused, angry, and playing with abandon, as happens on “Sex, Drugs, & Violence.” (Out Tuesday)
Essential: “Sex, Drugs, & Violence”