Green Day
American Idiot


2.5
average

Review

by Andrew Barr (MM8) USER (65 Reviews)
July 12th, 2006 | 90 replies | 5,941 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


5 of 6 thought this review was well written

Green Day
American Idiot


The Band: Billie Joe Armstrong- guitar, vocals
Mike Dirnt- bass, backing vocals
Tre Cool- drums

American Idiot. One of the best selling albums of all-time. My question is why? The riffs were mediocre, the bass lines were just the root notes of what the guitar played and the drums werenít too bad, but far from great. Are people really so stupid that all a band has to do is express how much the hate George w. Bush and mass media and people will immediately go out and purchase their album with out giving it a second thought? Evidently the answer is yes. I personally canít stand this album barring one particular track. Everything was pretty bland and simple, there was some solos but they were less than adequate and the main thing that made most of there other albums tolerable was gone. The fun factor! Most of Green Dayís other albums had fun, easy going lyrics. This album is much more serious and pretty depressing at times. For example, tracks like ďWake Me Up When September Ends" really bring my mood down. Usually I donít mind sad lyrics that much but when combined with overly simple instrumentals they get on my nerves. Another reason Iím not big on this album is it pretty much pioneered the whole ďI hate bush" phase. Now, I hate George W. Bush as much as the next guy, but Iím sick of so many bands gaining popularity just by stating how much they hate him, rather than relying on their musical ability. Iím also not a fan of the videos for this album. Now I know that Green Day actually had little to do with that and that the record label pretty much had all the say in what happened in their videos. Probably because of some contract or something. But they mustíve been able to do something, perhaps break the contract, or at least have read through the contract more thoroughly upon signing? Well, maybe there was nothing they could do, but I still think they couldíve done something. And last but no least tit sort of got to me that they died their hair black and claimed to have matured much like just about every other band. Sum 41, Blink 182 (when they were a band) etc.

This album sort of had a variety of songs to it. Thus it had a range of feels to it. There were a couple of fun tracks, like ďHoliday". I actually rather liked these. Good flow, mediocre instrumental work, but that didnít bother me because of the overall fun-ness. Indeed, these are truly rather tasteful songs. Good to sing along to, bob your head to, good to listen to when youíre going for a drive, just good. They can make you feel better when youíre in a bad mood, or if youíre already in a good mood excel your mood further. The thereís some not so fun songs. Theyíre not quite sad either mind you. Sort of in the middle. I didnít care for these tracks much at all. A couple examples of them would be ďAmerican Idiot" or ďJesus Of Suburbia". They still have a moderately good pace to them but theyíre not really fun at all. They really donít influence my mood. A couple good words to describe them would be bland or generic. Theyíre pretty shabbily written as well. Very simple, indeed. Now, I here some people say ďpop-punk is supposed to be simple, itís just power-chords and sing along choruses". Well, to be honest I really have trouble singing along with these songs. Theyíre just to plain. The solos added a little flavor, but not too much because they, like pretty much everything else were average. Now last and definitely least we have the overbearingly depressing tracks. A stunning example of these would be ďWake Me Up When September Ends". I found them to be simply unbearable. WMUWSE specifically, it as extremely bland. The intro/verse riff lacked character and power. It may have been okay with some rockiní underlying chords, but there were none. This made for an extremely boring verse. The chorus wasnít much better. It had a little more pizzazz, but still bored me. There was sort of a little riff/solo thing closer to the end. It was okay, but didnít really add anything to the song. Overall, I find it very difficult to listen to this album. Any of you pop punk fans out there might like it, but I recommend to sticking to the ďfunner" tracks. I guess if youíre in a bad mood you might want to listen to the more depressing tracks, but personally they just annoy me.

I found the guitar for the album to be sub par. A vast majority of it was just power chords. This might not bother some of you pop punk fans out there, but me being a metal head found it hard to tolerate. Usually I donít mind it, but in this case their were no fun vocals to cover up its mediocrity. Aside from being mostly power chords, in most cases they only used four to compose a song. I found that to be just lazy. They did throw in some actual chords here and there. Like in the chorus of ďWake Me Up When September Ends", I believe. But those progressions also werenít very well-written. I found that this album seriously lacked riffs. I donít mean like power chord riffs, but like picked riffs. There werenít too many of them to be seen or heard. It was mostly just chords and solos. Speaking of the solos I must admit one or two of them were pretty well-written. I actually enjoyed the solo in the S/T. Itís decently written and very fun to play. There were a couple other solos like that, for example the one in ďHoliday" was pretty solid as well. Otherwise the solos like the majority of the album sort of ďmeh". All in all I found the guitar to be just under par, barely adequate, about average etc.

Thereís not a whole lot I can say about the bass. It just played the root notes of what the guitar was playing for the majority of the album. Not to say it didnít have its moments here and there. For example, it had a little part in ďHoliday" where the other instruments quieted down and it played the lead riff. Other than that and a few other similar moments in varied songs the bass didnít do a whole lot. You could here it pretty well for the most part. I did like that aspect of the album, as I always enjoy hearing some bass, no matter how plain or simple it may be. I found the bass to be a tad disappointing, though. Dirnt is usually a pretty good bass player. I mean Green Day have never really had any fantastic bass, but itís usually better than this. Hopefully Mike will be more on his game for their next album.

The drums actually werenít half bad. The definitely had their moments here and there. For instance in ďAmerican Idiot" Mr. Cool played many adequate little fills. I rather enjoy his fills. There were lots of them throughout the album and most of them were pretty good. Some nice use of the toms. Although, like most pop-punk drummers I found he relied just a tad too much on simple beats to get through the album. I know itís difficult to have really complex drums on an album with simple guitar and simple bass but they still couldíve been a wee but better. Oh well, kudos to Tre Cool for helping to make this album almost listenable. I also found that he did a good job keeping in time for the majority of the album. Which was good, there are a lot of sloppy pop punk drummers Iíve heard, but he was very technical for the most part

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Pros: Some decent tracks
I liked some up the drums

Cons: Bland
Overly simple instrumentals
Some depressing lyrics, which further exposed the simple instrumentals

Recommended Tracks: Letís move on.

All in all I have no problem admitting I canít stand this album. I donít like the message it gives, I donít like the instrumentals, I donít like a most of the tracks. I will admit, however that I can see how some people can find this listenable. Iím just not really into the pop-punk genre too much and abig part of it for me is the fun lyrics. Without the fun lyrics it really irritates me. But for people who are really into pop punk and listen to it for more than just the fun sound this may be right up your alley. Simply put, itís just not my thing, at all. Until next time keep your stick on the ice.

Metallicaman



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user ratings (3804)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
metallicaman8
July 12th 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Yeah, I had my first review of this deleted and re-wrote it to ultimately redeam myself. I still didn't talk very psotively about this but I think I justified myself much better.

The Sludge
July 12th 2006



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'm just going to skip the whole thing on "justifying your court review with this review" and just vote. :D

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 12th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

So what if there's only barre chords or power chords? Alot of Metallica is just power chords and then a solo or two. And as for the statement about Bush, the public, and album consumption, that's just stupid, really. And patronizing. Well written, but really... yeah. This Message Edited On 07.12.06

metallicaman8
July 12th 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Bron, true but Metallica also has lots of graet riffs, bridges and interludes in a majority of there songs. And as for buch etc. that's just how I feel abou the band. Patronizing or not.

The Sludge
July 12th 2006



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

But Green Day on here (for being pop-punk) scored some riffs of their own. American Idiot featured a catchy well executed riff. Holiday did as well. For the genre it was a decent album as far as instrumentals.

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 12th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

[quote=metallicaman8]Bron, true but yadda yadda[/quote]

That's not the point, though. There are only a few veiled and vague references to Bush throughout....And justice For All is far more blatantly political, and it gets just as gobbled up by the public. Musically, simplistic songs are often derided as talentless, but it takes alot more talent to write a simple, great pop or rock song than it does to shred up a storm.This Message Edited On 07.12.06

711
July 12th 2006



1342 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is just alright by now. I wish they would play how they used to. The story is neat, but the songs got overplayed way too much and arent too great anymore. I still love "Jesus of Suburbia", though.

Good review. You proved your points pretty well, even though I dont agree with all of them.

Steerpike
July 12th 2006



1859 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

[quote]Musically, simplistic songs are often derided as talentless, but it takes alot more talent to write a simple, great pop or rock song than it does to shred up a storm.[/quote

Here's an analogy that should get most people's attention:

Which is easier? Getting a woman to climax, or masturbating?

Writing consistent, catchy hooks and memorable riffs is a hell of a lot harder than just picking up a guitar and wanking the crap out of your favorite scale.

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 12th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Exactly.

Storm In A Teacup
July 12th 2006



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Since there's nine reviews now one will have to be kicked probably. :-

I still don't like your review, but it was well-written and a lot better than that other review of this you did.This Message Edited On 07.12.06

The Sludge
July 12th 2006



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Wow (no need to say anything here)

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

There are 10 reviews to be exact, Kripes. Fun, eh?

Rocksta71
July 12th 2006



1023 Comments


Bush hate = Cliche'
If you americans hate him so much why did you vote him in for a second time?

I hate this album and everything it stands for.
This Message Edited On 07.12.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 12th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

If you americans hate him so much why did you vote him in for a second time?


One of the dumbest things I've ever read ever. Especially taking into account Metallicaman8 is from Canada. By the way, I notice that your album rating for this just rapidly changed from a 4.5 to a 2. What trends are you subscribing to?This Message Edited On 07.12.06

The Jungler
July 12th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

If you americans hate him so much why did you vote him in for a second time?

Besides the fact that most of us didn't (conspiracy theory) there is an unrepresented amount of uptight hillbillys/republicans in this country. I'm not old enough to vote anyways.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and I'm subsribing to the Bron trend on this one.This Message Edited On 07.12.06

Storm In A Teacup
July 12th 2006



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=iluvatar]There are 10 reviews to be exact, Kripes. Fun, eh?[/quote]That means it's your turn now, lulu. :p

Rocksta71
July 12th 2006



1023 Comments


the comment was directed to anyone who can explain this trend of "bush hatred"

I myself am not what you would call a bush fan.
but the whole "phase" of hating bush, as metallicaman8 put it, has become popular culture, any ten year old who listens to green day can hate bush and not even know why they hate him.

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 12th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

... I have a trend? DanJoe, perhaps some elaboration?

.This Message Edited On 07.12.06

The Jungler
July 12th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Now that was well put. I myself have been in the presence of kids who hate on bush, but can't name his vice president.


You still didn't respond to the dramatic lowering of your rating though. Whats that about?

EDIT: It was just a [not]clever way of saying I agree.This Message Edited On 07.12.06

Storm In A Teacup
July 12th 2006



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was watching MTV's Summer Hit List: You and a guy was on there and the video for "Holiday" was going to come on and the guy said Green Day is punk at it's finest.
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Babies died at my hands then, not really, but I did kick my brother in the nads.



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