Green Day
American Idiot


3.0
good

Review

by Holland, 1945. USER (13 Reviews)
September 10th, 2005 | 68 replies | 7,231 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


6 of 10 thought this review was well written

Sometimes, good things can come from unexpected misfortune. This is the case for Green Day's American Idiot. After almost two lacklustre albums in a row, the band went into the studio and recorded a batch of around 20 songs, supposedly sounding similar to the songs that were on their 2000 album Warning. The tapes dissappeared, and so the band decided to scrap the idea and try something completely new: a "punk-rock opera," taking cues from bands like the Who and Pink Floyd, both of whom have drilled that pompous term into our heads ever since their releases. Though the band has been criticized for following trends, such as the vague political content of the album, and their sudden change in fashion, their integrity remains (somewhat) intact, as they have grabbed ahold of a new fanbase, and perhaps have alienated their old, yet loyal fanbase.

The recording process of American Idiot also became a place to exorcise certain demons that had been haunting the band for quite awhile, as they yearned to try to work and coexist as a band in peace. The results came from a series of what you may describe as therapy meetings, where the band spoke of their feelings and ideas and whatnot. Though to many people this may seem irrelevant to a review of the album itself, if it were not for those steps the band took as human beings, they may have never made the album. Is this a good thing? Let that be your choice.

As any rock opera or concept album, American Idiot has a set of important characters, as the events of their lives are vaguely told throughout the album. Though there are political underlyings throughout, American Idiot stands as more of a social commentary more than a direct attack at the Bush Administration. The main "story" of the album involves a few characters: Jesus of Suburbia, the so-called "american idiot" of the story, the anti-hero, so to speak. There is also Saint Jimmy, the punk-rock freedom fighter, and Whatsername, the "Mother Reveolution" figure, almost like the nemesis of Saint Jimmy. The album, according to Billie Joe Armstrong : "The constant theme of the record is 'rage versus love.' You can go with the blind rebellion of self-destruction, where Saint Jimmy is. But there's a more love-driven side to that, which is following your beliefs and ethics. And that's where Jesus of Suburbia wants to go". Though the plot is somewhat confusing throughout the album, another result of the vague symbolism and story details. This results in a rather messy concept album. And we all know how bad concept albums can be.

Needless to say, Green Day haven't strived as far away from their original sound as many cynics claim. Though they have experimented with sounds and different musical ideas and landscapes, most of the songs follow the same 3-chord staple that punk-rock has been limited by since it's birth. They make it work, though, by using those same boring power-chords in new ways. Trying to break the cliches of the genre they helped push into the mainstream, Green Day have turned to writing 9 minute songs with several movements, usually the work of progressive bands. Do not be blinded by the length, though. The two songs, "Jesus of Suburbia" and "Homecoming," are nothing as to what you would expect. They are, generally, a few brief variations and experiments crammed into one song, though their old sound and style still runs through the core of them all. "Homecoming" is the messy sister-song, somehow not capable of achieveing the magical feel that the other does, turning into a rather boring song, causing one to zone out for quite some time. "Wake Me Up When September Ends," easily the most sentimental song on the album, is an ode to Billie Joe's father, who had recently died. Though the song runs along the same "quiet verse/loud chorus" cliche, it comes off as honest, despite it's newfound recognition by the music media. "Whatsername" also achieves the same muted quality, ending the album on a resolutely quiet note, after such barnburners as "Letterbomb" that clog the middle half of the album. Even if the singles are complete trash (which they are), packed full of faux-political rage and rabid ignorance, the rest of the album is an amiable effort that is easily enjoyed. It's a progression, yes, and hopefully they won't fall back down into mediocrity.



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user ratings (3811)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
September 10th 2005



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Please, the last thing we need right now is another Green Day review. There are already too many as it is. Besides, this album was shit anyways.This Message Edited On 09.10.05

Fabz
September 10th 2005



136 Comments


The album suck but I think this review is much better than the other one.

Killtacular
September 10th 2005



1314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thank you, oh great one, for giving this album what it deserved. I was tired of all those 4.5 and 4 star reviews. Great work.

:thumb:

Storm In A Teacup
September 10th 2005



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good reviewThis Message Edited On 11.07.05

Fabz
September 10th 2005



136 Comments


I agree it's a bit to much

screamo_rocks_101
September 10th 2005



88 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

I used to like green day way back in the day before they thought they were better than every other punk band out there. Now there just a lost cause.

Killtacular
September 10th 2005



1314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's not his fault there are so many reviews already.

Taxman
September 10th 2005



82 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this album sux..i cant believe how mainstream and borderline emo that greenday has progressed in the music world...it is a DISGRACE to punk rock and their earlier greats such as their best album ever, dookie

Zmev
September 10th 2005



983 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

...

Rudd13
September 10th 2005



952 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. Right on the spot.

Other than Jesus Of Suburbia and St. Jimmy, this album was just plain average. Great, great job. :thumb:

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2005



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

u people r crazy as hell. This is undoubtedly a classic album and u all are obviously not green day fans. Granted the album doesnt grab me as it once did, but nevertheless it is a fantastic record. Granted BOBD has been overplayed, but its still a great song. I love every song cept mebbe r we the waiting and shes a rebel.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2005



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

also u said that greenday put out two lackluster albums in a row. U mean Shenanagins and Warning? or Nimrod and Warning? Because Nimrod's fantastic. Ill give u shenanagins isnt that great.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2005



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ok then i agree with you.

Sexie
September 14th 2005



11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review.
I've only heard 5 out of the 13 tracks, although I've heard many good things about the album, I'm just not that big of a fan of Green Day... 3.5/5

Hugh Jass
September 15th 2005



92 Comments


Green Day are shite, they're allways in little girly magazines along with shitty pop stuff.

Chilly-Bean-Bop
September 15th 2005



344 Comments


i really find it sad that this is the top album of all time in the punk category.....whatever. this is a great review, like all of them. keep up the good work. :thumb:

Chilly-Bean-Bop
September 19th 2005



344 Comments


i didnt vote.

beatlefan1
September 20th 2005



9 Comments


Green day is so a little girl's group who thinks that the three 40 years old guys are cool because they dress like teenagers. Their music is pfff... its all the same.

beatlefan1
September 20th 2005



9 Comments


Green day is so a little girl's group who thinks that the three 40 years old guys are cool because they dress like teenagers. Their music is pfff... its all the same.

francesfarmer
October 9th 2005



1477 Comments


Oh yes, and the beatles defenitly weren't a teenage girl's group.



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