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Green Day 

Shenanigans (Reprise)

If Shenanigans is the neatest title for a B-side collection since the Who's Odds and Sods, in part that's because it suggests more than Green Day might intend. Eight years after Dookie, Billy Joe and company no longer strive for anything greater than this colorful noun, which Webster's defines first as "mischief," then as "deceit." Note that this collection arrives hot on the heels of last year's greatest hits package (International Superhits!), suggesting a contract-fulfillment move, especially since the band's last studio album (2000's Warning) sold only a quarter as many copies as its predecessor (1997's Nimrod).

But also note that this compilation proves the enduring depth and strength of the group's routine, just like International Superhits! did. Kicking off with the one-two punch of the singsongy "Suffocate" and the sharply riffing "Desensitized," the short 15-cut disc plows through bright novelty numbers -- from spy-flick shtick to faux ranchero to Kinks and Ramones covers -- alternated with tunes so catchy and cutting, they easily could have been A-sides. Like the underappreciated Warning, it ends up a tribute to the group's broad pop-punk roots, making it both more conceptual and less conceited than Odds and Sods. Talk about neat.

More by Franklin Soults


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