Green Day
American Idiot


4.0
excellent

Review

by H. USER (119 Reviews)
April 10th, 2013 | 89 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Remember... it seems like forever ago...

Green Day - American Idiot: A Retrospective

Back in 2004, if you asked me what my favorite album was, I would have given you a quick answer. American Idiot by Green Day, from the best band of all time. Forget The Beatles, forget Pink Floyd, it was Green Day who made the best album of all time.

Oh, how times have changed.

Although American Idiot is no doubt a great album, calling it one of the best albums of all time may be a tiny overstatement. Scratch that, it's a huge overstatement. But how did I change my mind on how I felt about one of the definitive albums of the 2000s? Let me take you back in time to 2004, where American Idiot ruled my life.

Then
As I walked through the many aisles of the music store, I looked up to where the sign said "ROCK". Instantly hooked, I dashed over to the long, thick section where all the rock CDs were held. Albums like these were my favorite: loud, heavy, angry rock bands - like Nickelback!

After checking out most of the rock section, I walked over to the giant stand that read "NEW MUSIC". Among those albums included Funeral by Arcade Fire, Getting Away With Murder by Papa Roach, Siren Song of the Counter Culture by Rise Against, and lastly, American Idiot by Green Day.

I had heard of Green Day before on the radio, with their hit songs "I Walk Alone" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends". The album artwork looked pretty cool, with a man's bloody hand gripping onto a grenade shaped like a heart. I instantly grabbed the album and begged my parents to get it. After repeatedly yelling "Can I get it? Can I get it" for ten minutes, they finally gave in and bought me the album.

When I got home, I rushed into my room, grabbed my Discman, and popped in the CD. The album blasted off with a guitar riff and some drums, and I loved it. These guys are so badass, I thought. Telling people to *** America? How cool is that?" As second track "Jesus of Suburbia" played, I loved Green Day even more. Who had the balls to make nine-minute, five-part long epics? Green Day did.

After listening to the entire album, I listened to it again. And again. I have never listened to an album as much as this one. I loved every single track. My favorites were "Wake Me Up When September Ends", a tragic and dark song about his father's death, "Homecoming", which was nine minutes long and just pure epicness. Even Mike, the bassist, and Tre, the drummer, sing their own section! My least favorite tracks were "Give Me Novacaine", a wimpy ballad about drugs, and "Extraordinary Girl", because it had a stupid bongo solo at the beginning.

I loved this album. No album defined me any more than this one. Green Day were the most punk band in the world, and I could just feel the emotion in lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong's voice. I would recommend "Wake Me Up...", "Homecoming", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Are We the Waiting" to everyone, even if you don't like punk rock.

Now
Nine years after the release of American Idiot, I find myself returning to the album less than usual. The main reason why American Idiot doesn’t have the impact on me like it did nine years ago is simply because I have outgrown it. Green Day’s audience is mainly pre-teens and high-schoolers, and once you become older, their songs lose that feeling that they had back in the day. Although I still love many of the tracks, I don’t get the same feeling I do when I listen to it. Back then, this album ruled my life. Now, it’s nothing but a great pop-punk album by a decent pop-punk band.

Many of the tracks still do click with me, from the fast-paced and furious “Letterbomb”, to the slow, reflective and contemplative “Whatsername”, the latter of which is a great closer. I can still pump my fists to the bridge of “Holiday”, yelling “kill all the fags that don’t agree!” “Jesus of Suburbia” never fails to put a smile on my face, especially during the “City of the Damned”. Even if the album isn’t a stone-cold classic, there are still some great moments in it.

However, the album isn’t perfect, like I thought nine years ago. The middle of the album is complete filler, starting from “Are We the Waiting” and ending with “Extraordinary Girl”. The former is a boring, vapid, slow dreck of a song, and the latter features an odd bongo solo in the beginning. There are some good songs in between, such as “St. Jimmy” or “Give Me Novacaine”, but mostly the middle stretch of the album is boring and only exists to plant the album back into its storyline.

I cannot deny the impact this had. It brought Green Day back from their darkest times, coming out of nowhere to make Green Day one of the biggest rock band of the decade. After their sixth album Warning flopped, this brought them back on top, like they were in 1994 with Dookie. If you look past the overplay of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends", Broadway plays, and girls claiming that Billie Joe Armstrong is “hot”, American Idiot is a wonderfully crafted album that no one saw coming. Who would have thought that the punks smoking weed and singing songs about jerking off would try to create an album exercising their “rage and love” for America? Green Day did, and it’s a shame they went downhill from here.



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user ratings (3946)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
April 9th 2013


20327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Trying something different for my 20th(yes, I know it's nothing to celebrate, but piss on it, I'm doing it anyway), more of a reflective than a review.

Enter obligatory "HAHA USERNAME SUX" comment here.


Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OK someone please invent a Green Day blocker

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

sixdegrees
April 9th 2013


17731 Comments


HAHA USERNAME SUX

Digging: Satomimagae - Koko

Green Baron
April 9th 2013


20327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Trebor, this will be last Green Day review for a while...

might bash 21CB though, that was shit

apert
April 9th 2013


3067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

greenlinkinmuse... possibly the worst username ever

NeoSpaz
April 9th 2013


4519 Comments


not bad. i was going to bash you for the rating but, you justified it reasonably well

ZilbelPing
April 9th 2013


6166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

THE TOWN BISHOP'S AN EXTORTIONIST
AND HE DON'T EVEN KNOW THAT YOU EXIST
STANDING STILL WHEN IT'S DO OR DIE
YOU BETTER RUN FOR YOUR FUCKING LIIIIIIFE

Storm In A Teacup
April 9th 2013


13228 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

5 good songs and 1 classic in Jesus of Suburbia.

Sputnik is a place of freedom I hope there's 20 more reviews of this 10 years from blnoe it will be interesting to see how history portrays the album and band.

Gwyn.
April 10th 2013


15324 Comments


"with their hit songs "I Walk Alone""

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

and interesting review

also LOLUSERNAME


Digging: Grief - Come to Grief

joshieboy12345
April 10th 2013


5371 Comments


One of the albums that got me into rock.

Owantjaaaa
April 10th 2013


3407 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Once upon a time Green Day was my favourite band too.
Untill I heard the bands that influenced them, operation ivy is still my fav band

Digging: Sick/Tired - Dissolution

PumpBoffBag
April 10th 2013


330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good, nostalgic review

Funeralopolis
April 10th 2013


11893 Comments


dat username

Digging: Owen Pallett - In Conflict

Vakarian12
April 10th 2013


3925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"greenlinkinmuse... possibly the worst username ever"

there was that one that went something like Atreyu_Lambofgod_666

CaptainHadouken
April 10th 2013


1960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Another green day review.... oh how overjoying.

ReturnToRock
April 10th 2013


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

1. Hey, my Nevermind review is inspiring others! :D

2. *Is* this a punk-pop album? I'd argue it's not, as there are far too many layers and influences. The same applies to MCR's The Black Parade.

3. Give Me Novocaine is one of the best on the album.

4. Good review!

ReturnToRock
April 10th 2013


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also, Are We The Waiting is awesome and Letterbomb is filler.

ZackSh33
April 10th 2013


367 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The only filler on this album was "Extraordinary Girl" and "She's A Rebel." "Letterbomb" is the one that's held up the best over the years. "Are We the Waiting" is epic and awesome.

Good review though!

ZackSh33
April 10th 2013


367 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

And returntorock, yes, it's classified as punk-pop, it just got the full production treatment and spreads it wings a little bit more than others defined in the genre, like blink's self titled.

Hep Kat
April 10th 2013


15399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

And returntorock, yes, it's classified as punk-pop, it just got the full production treatment and spreads it wings a little bit more than others defined in the genre, like blink's self titled.


lol

Digging: Burning Kitchen - Many Wonder About the Meaning of Life



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