Alright, a lot of you are probably thinking what? Another American Idiot review! Well, I feel I need to explain the story also.
As we all know this a concept album. It tells the story of the Jesus of Suburbia his hatred of his hometown (Jingle Town) and the various characters he meets on his journey away from home. The album has an overall political message and certain songs, such as Holiday, are very political. However, despite what most people think the entire album isn't political.
This is Green Day at their lyrical and musical best. And is a very personal album to them. The album is loosely based on the life of Billie Joe Armstrong. Musically Green Day have surpassed anything they've done before. They still use simple power chords, but in new and different ways, and now take full advantage of many of the effects on their instruments.
The album opens with...
AMERICAN IDIOT a song about how the media controls the way we think. It's a perfect opener and sets the stage for the rest of the album. It's basically a call out by the Jesus of Suburbia about his life in his media controlled town and how there is not one thing he can do about it.
It’s a very angry opener and contains some pretty catchy riffs. About how the media controls the way we think. 4/5
JESUS OF SUBURBIA is a song with five different transitions. Part I: The Jesus of Suburbia is basically an introduction to the character, who he is, and his life at home with his mom and stepfather Brad. Part II: City of the Damned describes Jingle Town, Jesus' home town. It expalins why he hates it so much. From his job at the 7-11 to all the shopping mall, it's basically described as a dump where children walk the street homeless and nobody seems to care. Part III: I Don't Care is pretty self-explanatory. Jesus of Suburbia just doesn't care anymore because nobody else does and is sick and tired of living with all the hypocrites in his town. Part IV: Dearly Beloved is supposed to be like Jesus is writing a letter. He's contemplating whether or not to leave town or not and whether or not it's a good idea to or not. Part V: Tales of Another Broken Home is all about his decision to run away. Anywhere must be better than where he is right now. So he runs away, leaving behind all the lies he was fed growing up and never looks back.
This is a great song and quite a change from Green Day’s older songs. The different parts blend perfectly with each other 4.5/5
HOLIDAY the next track is about Jesus’ life on the run. He's having a blast and starting protests. Even the term holiday is another word for vacation. He's enjoying himself but not for long.
Good song that suffered from excessive airplay. The song is very political and may not appeal to certain people. It has catchy riffs and pretty decent lyrics. 4/5
BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS starts up right after Holiday. Jesus has been walking for sometime now and has made it to a new town. He's all alone and no one even acknowledges him. It's as if all he had before is gone, his dreams are shattered. There's no one with him and he walks alone... Another song to have suffered from too much over exposure. This song may not appeal to a lot of people who don’t really like poppy songs. Nothing too special about this song. There are a lot of better songs on this album. 3/5
ARE WE THE WAITING is next. In this song Jesus is starting to loose it. He's starting to believe that even his own life is a lie and maybe leaving home was for nothing. He screams out for help and is soon answered.
A different kind of song as the chorus is sung with everyone singing. Simple guitar work, basic drumming. 3/5
ST. JIMMY comes to the rescue. He is the albums anti-hero. He makes friends with the Jesus of Suburbia. This song is all about Jimmy and how he's the badass of the town. He'll shoot you down if you look at him wrong. Needless to say he isn't the best influence in Jesus’ life. On a side note, it is also possible that St. Jimmy is the same person as Jesus and this might explain the rage and love parts of his life. It’s mainly the listeners opinion on how to interpret this character.
Fast and angry, this song is reminiscent of Green Day’s older work. Guitar is nothing special but is a good punk song none the less. 5/5
GIVE ME NOVACAINE is about how Jimmy introduces drugs to Jesus. Novacaine is his word usage for drugs. He tries them so he can get rid of the pain in his life. By the end of the song you begin to feel that he's starting to enjoy the drugs and become addicted.
With a kind of Hawaiian feel this is a strange song. The chorus kicks in loud and quickly softens again at the verse. Decent song in it’s own right. 3.5/5
SHE'S A REBEL is about Jesus’ first glimpse of Whatsername, the girl he falls in love with. She's a rebel as the title suggests. She's everything that Jesus could want because she is just like him.
Another great song reminiscent of their older work. Picks up right after Give Me Novacaine. Catchy riffs and a fast tempo make this one of the albums shortest songs. 4.5/5
EXTRAORDINARY GIRL delves more deeply into whatsername revealing her true emotions, it doesn't need to be here but it helps in some way.
With a kind of African drum opener, this song breaks into a melo love song. It’s not depressing but the guitar sounds really strange. Not a bad song but not the best song either. 3.5/5
LETTERBOMB is meant to be Jesus reading a letter sent by Whatsername. The opening “Nobody likes you…" is Whatsername mocking Jesus. She breaks up with him explaining that Jimmy has corrupted Jesus and turned him into the kind of person he’s always hated. Everything has turned upside down again for Jesus.
Best song on the album. This track contains some good guitar work. Slightly different than other songs on the album, it kind of reminds me of Nimrod. Great song. 5/5
WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS is a song about the death of Billie Joe’s father who died in September 1982. Album wise Jesus is all alone again, he’s lost his one true love, all his friends and is basically back where he started. All the innocence that he once had is gone now and he just feels dead inside.
Another poppy song. This song has some decent guitar work but what it gains musically it lacks lyrically. The same lines are repeated over and over again. Not a the greatest song. 3/5
HOMECOMING is another five part song. Now that he’s lost all his friends and everyone he used to care about, what’s left to do? Go home. Part I: The Death of St. Jimmy. Jesus realizes that he’s no better off now than he was when he first left home. He listened to Jimmy and got nothing in return, except a loss of innocence. Jimmy is dead, at least to him. Still, there’s no one who really cares about Jesus. Part II: East 12th Street. Jesus gets a job and lives his life like any other person. He wants to be out hanging with his friends “the underbelly". He can’t stand this life anymore and decides it’s time to get out of there. Part III: Nobody Likes You. Jesus is still upset over his breakup with Whatsername and continues to wait for her to come back. Her final word still linger, like a broken record is his mind “Nobody likes you, everyone left you, they’re all out with out you having fun." Part IV: Rock &Roll Girlfriend. A letter is sent to Jesus by his pal Tunny that he met on the street. Tunny explains how is life is so much better now even though he’s still living his old rebel life. He tells Jesus to stay off his case because he chose to live his new life with a dead end job. Part V: We’re Coming Home Again. Friendless now, Jesus decides it’s time to accept things. He realizes now that things weren’t so bad where he used to live and goes back to Jingle Town. He’s still not entirely happy but feels good because he’s still alive.
Another epic. This song far surpasses JOS in every way. The guitar work is much better and in my opinion has much more going on in it than JOS. 5/5
WHATSERNAME Still regretting his loss of his one true love, he begins to wonder what ever happened to her. He doesn’t regret his journey, in fact he knows that he learned much from it. He tries to forget Whatsername because of all the pain she put him through.
Kind of a strange ending. It leaves you off with a feeling of wanting more. The song its self isn’t bad but it leaves the rock opera off on the wrong tone. 4/5
This review was meant to be an explanation of the albums story. It seemed that no one else wanted to take the time to tell the story, so I did. The highlights include.
Jesus of Suburbia
She’s a Rebel
While I may have rated some of the songs too low to reflect my score the album gets a 5 because it was an attempt at something new, unlike some punk bands who make the same stuff over and over again. Please tell me if this was any good as it is my first review.