Green Day
American Idiot


4.5
superb

Review

by USER (1 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 343 replies | 36,271 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


9 of 10 thought this review was well written

American Idiot - Green Day
Release Date: September 21, 2004
Label: Warner Bros. Records

Billie Joe Armstrong: Guitar, Lead Vocals
Mike Dirnt - Bass Guitar, Vocal
Tré Cool - Drums, Vocals

With the breakthrough of '90s pop-punk teammate Blink-182's self titled debut album displaying their "grown-up" image and the not terrible but altogether lacking release of Shenanigans, Green Day needed something to help show that they are in turn a '90s band with the potential to excel into the 21st century. This album was exactly what they needed. Although you can tell from the lyrics, guitars, and even overall image of the album how this is a different kind of Green Day, many of those new things that the band has tried have worked out wonderfully. For instance, the 5 different movements on "Jesus of Suburbia" and "Homecoming" as well as the presence of additions like keyboards and guitar effects show how the band's songwriting skills' evolution. When it comes down to it, it seems as though the members are finally learning how to maximize the effects that can be created by their instruments. Billie Joe is using Tremolo and different settings on his guitar as well as singing words with much more universal themes, Mike's basslines are move evolved and Tré's drum parts have grown from the simple beats most modern drummers are sticking to. Overall Rating: 4.5/5.

Individual Track Listing:
1. American Idiot - If you hear this on the radio, you may think its crap or think that its the signal of just another Green Day album. Don't get me wrong, I think this song is great but it's a poor representation of the rest of the album. The song is very fast paced and has very catchy lyrics concerning the media's effect on Ameicans. Rating: 3/5

2. Jesus of Suburbia (etc.) - !!!! This is where the album gets This song is what really convinced me that this album is amazing. The five movements go very nicely together. They mix it up the stlyes of each movement: Jesus of Suburbia - Guitars work well and fills space with good singing, City of the ****ed - slows it down with piano and very well placed backup vocals (fav. movement!), I Don't Care - a very good fast paced movement to balance out the slow precedent, Dearly Beloved - slows down pace with bell tones and lyrically advanced questions, Tales of Another Broken Home - ends the song with a fast-slow-fast pace with an interesting bridge. Rating: 5/5

3. Holiday - The sticker on the CD says this is a single (along with Boulevard of Broken Dreams) and it definitely sounds like one. It's got that triplet or 12/8 feel to it and is very catchy. Billie Joe's singing is backed up well by occasional yells of HEY and AMEN and it seems to work out well. They effectively use space in this song, which I think is the most effective rhythym of them all. Rating: 4/5

4. Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Very cool intro with tremolo backing up the acoustic guitar and singing. A much heavier Green Day song, with the distortion and chord progression on the chorus really emphasizing the minor scale and key of the song. When I bought this CD I immediately tabbed this song because it was in my head all day due to the catchy lyrics and guitar lines. Rating: 5/5

5. Are We the Waiting - This is a song that shows how Tré's drumming has really improved. Not only does he start the song off with a simple yet appealing tom beat, his playing throughout the whole song compliments its slow march feel. The background singing sings the chorus, unusual but effective. Rating: 4/5

6. St. Jimmy - This song starts out with palm muted power chords and gives it a retro Green Day feel. Along with the simple singing and I IV and V power chords, this song gets the feel from its unusual bridge and solo part. The guitars are the thing to listen to in this song, but everything is still pretty cool. Rating: 3/5

7. Give Me Novacaine - Strange title, even stranger song. Tré's beat that starts it is followed by acoustic guitars and a very "hawaiian" feel to the song. They switch it up for the chorus and throw in some minor chords and my favorite technique again: space. Nice effect overall. Rating 4/5.

8. She's a Rebel - Another retro-esque Green Day song. The key to this song is the phrasing and the chorus. They have some predictable catchy lyrics and such in the chorus but they put a 2/4 measure after the chorus to serve as a hook to get you fired up for the average Green Day verse. Not too much here. Rating: 3/5

9. Extraordinary Girl - The intro is great. It's got some effects to add to the just plain "weird" intro. I don't really know how to explain it in words. Just listen to it... it's great! As for the rest of the song - it's pretty cool. They have some great lyrics that just plain stay in your head. "She gets so sick of crying". Rating: 4/5

10. Letterbomb - "Nobody likes you / Everyone left you / They're all out without you / Having fun". The song starts out with a girlish voice singing those lyrics. It's an interesting hook, and the song is overall very good. It starts out like it could be on the album Warning, but then gets interesting. It's kind of odd for a Green Day song to break 4 minutes, but it's all good. Rating: 3.5/5

11. Wake Me When September Ends - Acoustic intro with very beautifully written lyrics. "Seven years have gone so fast / Wake me up when September ends" My favorite song off the CD. This song gradually transforms before your ears from a few acoustic notes to Tré's drums and slight overdrive adding to a very well written song. The lyrics to this song will amaze you. Rating: 4.5/5

12. Homecoming - Another five movement song. I don't think this one captures the effect as well as "Jesus of Surburbia" however. This one just seems like a bunch of 2 minute filler songs put together in one song. Although it does have its moments, the song is overall average Green Day. Best Movement: East 12th street - the band trades fours with a simple acoustic measure. They pick up the tempo though and it ends pretty strong though. Rating: 3/5

13. Whatshername - Interesting end to the album. Great singing parts and guitars. They really bring out the best of switching from major to minor chords in the song. The bridge is really cool: a simple guitar riff followed by solid overdrive then a lead/solo. The singing is really the key here. The singing complete with the selection of major and minor chords really fits well into an interesting end to an even better album. Rating: 3.5/5


user ratings (3796)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
WalkingContradiction
September 23rd 2004



10 Comments


Excellent review, man! Right on the nose.

I just can't stop listening to this album, I have listened to it all the way through 9 times since I got it, according to iTunes.

I have one thing to add: The little lyric booklet is an interesting read, even if you've never listened to the songs (but especially if you have).

I love how the album's reminiscent of The Who's "Tommy," but punkier, like Hosker Do's "Zen Arcade." They truly kicked *** with this one!

Tapeworm
September 23rd 2004



118 Comments


Darn, I was gunna do this. My review would have been rather similar to yours, except at this point I would have rated a few songs higher.

Great work though man.

owlandtree
September 23rd 2004



47 Comments


Great Review. Terrible band. If you are American and you buy this album you ARE an idiot. Great review though.

ATC
September 23rd 2004



42 Comments


i'm a go get this album. it sounds good.
i dont reckon a lot of people will buy this due to the political viewpoint, maybe?

incubliss
September 23rd 2004



116 Comments


i'm actually quite surprised at how great this album is.

i myself would have rated the songs you rated lowly, a little higher. all the songs are 4/5 or higher material in my opinion.

Wanker
September 23rd 2004



139 Comments


nice review, man.

i think everyone is right when they say that they would've rated some songs a little higher though. not just because the songs are good, but because your individual track ratings dont really sync up with the overall rating. with your current track ratings, the overall rating should be around a 3.8.

just letting you know; change it if you wish.

incubliss
September 23rd 2004



116 Comments


[QUOTE=Kif]And JoS is an over-rated song in my opinion. Homecoming is a much better song, with amazing lyrics and one of the greatest song intros ever (That quiet distorted guitar sound is so hooky)[/QUOTE]

maybe you haven't heard the intro to Tool - Ticks and Leeches then? or even Lateralus (the song)

in my opinion, the Homecomeing intro is quite rubbish really, it just doesn't sound anything spectacular at all.

nimrodbassist
September 23rd 2004



2 Comments


I think this is the best one of the best Green Day albums ever! However I do tend to like the albums peple put down so I'm surprised that everyone loves it. Maybe my listening tastes are getting better. I do, however agree with Kif, in the Homecoming is better than Jesus Of Suburbia. The backing vocals at the start of "We're Coming Home Again" are really the thing that does it for me on that song! This is the first GD album where I have liked every single song! On all the other studio albums theres always 1 I hate!

1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours - Knowledge
Kerplunk - Private Ale
Dookie - Emenius Sleepus
Insomniac - Brain Stew
Nimrod - Worry Rock (even though thats just a filler)
Warning - MIsery & Macy's Day Parade

This album, however, I could listen to for years without getting bored!

Med57
Moderator
September 23rd 2004



1001 Comments


Great review man, especially for a September newbie :eek:. Seriously though, very nice. I haven't got this yet, and I'm not normally this bands number one fan, but I'll probably get it at some stage as I've heard so much about it. I liked the lead-off single from it a lot as well.

Iai
Emeritus
September 23rd 2004



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I must say, as much as I hate pop-punk, this album interests the hell out of me. I will be picking this up at some point.

Just add a little formatting and you'll be one of the best reviewers on the site.

Zappa
September 23rd 2004



355 Comments


I listened to the first couple tunes on the MTV thingy. Laughably bad.

The Ashtray Girl
September 23rd 2004



108 Comments


Wow, you've actually really sold it to me. It goes on my list.

nisakss
September 23rd 2004



13 Comments


[QUOTE=Kif]You're a mod. This is a bad example of posting in this forum. No evidence and/or opinions to back up your remark was seen whatsoever.[/QUOTE]

Lets see, he said he had heard a couple of songs and he didn't like them. What else is there to be said??

Btw, great review. I'll buy it next month, when I get paid.

Theo
September 23rd 2004



84 Comments


[QUOTE=Kif]You're a mod. This is a bad example of posting in this forum. No evidence and/or opinions to back up your remark was seen whatsoever.[/QUOTE]

Hah, don't mind him dude, he's just like that. I think he said Lateralus was a horrible album, so what do you expect?

Oli_m
September 23rd 2004



16 Comments


[QUOTE=owlandtree]Great Review. Terrible band. If you are American and you buy this album you ARE an idiot. Great review though.[/QUOTE]

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Dunno why, but that made me laugh

Im quite interested by the pop-punk band makes long songs idea. Personally i think it'd get really boring. Might have to check this album out sometime.

groomits
September 23rd 2004



6 Comments


Yeah it's a very great album, I'm not a big fan of are we the waiting too, and I would like to know, who sing on the mouvement rock and roll girlfriend. I think it's tré cause it said : I play **** at the drums, but I'm not really sure

Zappa
September 23rd 2004



355 Comments


[QUOTE=Kif]You're a mod. This is a bad example of posting in this forum. No evidence and/or opinions to back up your remark was seen whatsoever.[/QUOTE]

I'm a really bad mod, too.

Zappa
September 23rd 2004



355 Comments


Green Day sux!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Zappa
September 23rd 2004



355 Comments


Take a joke or I'll ban you.

AmericanNimrod1039
September 23rd 2004



4 Comments


Looks like you don't really like the retro feel Green Day songs. That's too bad because all the ones you said were "retro-esque" are my favorite ones on the album. Holiday, American Idiot, St. Jimmy, Holiday, She's A Rebel, and Letterbomb are the best songs on the album.



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