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Billie Joe Armstrong – No Fun Mondays (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Billie Joe Armstrong – No Fun Mondays (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 40:36 minutes | 534 MB | Genre: Alternative, Indie
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Reprise

The ‘No Fun Mondays’ covers series launched in March 2020 on Green Day’s YouTube channel. Like many musicians, Armstrong expected to spend much of 2020 on the road, touring in support of the band’s chart-topping February album, ‘Father of All.’ However, once the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to put those plans on pause, Armstrong got busy with a different kind of work. ‘No Fun Mondays’ sees Armstrong putting his signature melodic-punk spin on the songs that have formed the soundtrack to his life, including classics by John Lennon, Billy Bragg, and Johnny Thunders.

Like the rest of the world, Billie Joe Armstrong needed to find some way to busy himself during the global pandemic of 2020. He opted for a series of covers he dubbed “No Fun Mondays,” its name nodding at the glum realities of quarantine as well as the day he debuted his versions on the Internet. The project got off to a slow start. A version of Tommy James & the Shondells’ “I Think We’re Alone Now” went up in April and a cover of Prince’s “Manic Monday” featuring a cameo from Susanna Hoffs was unveiled in May, but it wasn’t until he posted Adam Schlesinger’s “That Thing You Do!” in late August that the series gained momentum. From there, he posted covers on a weekly basis, all leading up to the late-November release of No Fun Mondays. As a collected album, No Fun Mondays is a bit of a lark, unexpected in its energy but not its contents. With two notable exceptions, Billie Joe Armstrong chose tunes that stay well within his punk-pop and power pop wheelhouse, balancing standards by Johnny Thunders (“You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”) and Wreckless Eric (“Whole Wide World”) with slightly cultish selections from Avengers (“Corpus Christi”), Stiv Bators (“Not That Way Anymore”), and the Starjets (“War Stories”). There are a couple of fun ringers like Eric Carmen’s sugar-coated “That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Amico” by the Italian singer Don Backy, but the album’s heart lies in the fuzzy, hooky three-chord pop that’s been Armstrong’s stock-in-trade since the early days of Green Day. The two exceptions — John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth” and Billy Bragg’s “A New England” — aren’t remade as power pop so much as bent a bit in that direction, so they fit in while still sounding a little bit different than the rest of the crowd. They’re also the only moments that make a passing nod to the turmoil of 2020, which is fine: sometimes, it’s better to have an album attempting to conjure some fun in isolation than to wallow in the darkness. – Stephen Thomas Erlewine


1. Billie Joe Armstrong – I Think We’re Alone Now
2. Billie Joe Armstrong – War Stories
3. Billie Joe Armstrong – Manic Monday
4. Billie Joe Armstrong – Corpus Christi
5. Billie Joe Armstrong – That Thing You Do!
6. Billie Joe Armstrong – Amico
7. Billie Joe Armstrong – You Can’t Put Your Arms Round a Memory
8. Billie Joe Armstrong – Kids in America
9. Billie Joe Armstrong – Not That Way Anymore
10. Billie Joe Armstrong – That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll
11. Billie Joe Armstrong – Gimme Some Truth
12. Billie Joe Armstrong – Whole Wide World
13. Billie Joe Armstrong – Police on My Back
14. Billie Joe Armstrong – A New England


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