Written on June 7, 2013
Fans and critics cite Generator as the album where Bad Religion started to change, and there is some validity to that, but the change is slight, and Generator still has plenty of Bad Religion’s speedy, melodic, and intelligent trademarks to make it a winner.
Taken as a whole, Generator has a different feel than Bad Religion’s previous three records, but each song taken independently could have fit in on any of Bad Religion’s previous three albums. So, the seeds of change might have been planted on Generator, but they were gradually sown and harvested over the next several albums.
Bad Religion’s songs and lyrics have always been provocative, challenging, and pointed, but up until Generator, there wasn’t any central theme uniting the songs on the albums (with the exception of the ever present themes of religion and politics that are on every Bad Religion album). Generator can be considered a semi-concept album that explores the economy, over-population, and political conflict, and there is background information and quotes in the liner notes before the lyrics of each song.
The highlights of the record are “Generator,” “Tomorrow,” “Heaven is falling,” and “Atomic Garden.” There’s also their best slower number to date with “The Answer.” The weakest tracks are “Chimaera” and “Only Entertainment,” the two closing songs. They are definitely filler, and I find it odd that they are tracked together back to back at the end of the album.
There’s also the infamous “Two Babies in the Dark,” which has to be the oddest song in the Bad Religion catalog. I used to hate the song, but it has grown on me over the years, and I can now admit that it has become a guilty pleasure for me.
All in all, there’s a lot to process with Generator. There’s the start of a new sound and the incorporation of a central concept, but the record is still excellent, and it contains some of Bad Religion’s best songs.
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