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
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.