Sound — 10
I've never been a real fan of punk rock, but American Idiot is really the only CD I've ever listened to for more than twenty or so hours, and I think this is because the sound is a really powerful one, and you can tell BJ and the others are trying to make a really strong point without even hearing the lyrics. There're a ton of different sounds on the disc - drums, bass, and guitar are all outstanding, but they're also some pipes and piano on the disc, among others. But the really outstanding thing is that in songs like "Extraordinary Girl" the stronger effects are done with the mouth, i. e. the rolling of the tongue.
Lyrics — 10
The better name for this album would've no doubt been "Jesus Of Suburbia," but I think that'd have gotten the Christian activists worked up. The reason I say this is because all the songs come together, forming a strong story revolving around this "Jesus Of Suburbia." "Jesus" is a suburban kid who feels he's not being treated the way he should be, and who's pretty pissed at America in general - the first track is all about him not wanting to be an idiot like the rest of America; it's a rant about what America has become and all the terrible things it stands for. "Jesus Of Suburbia" is about "Jesus" and how he leaves town, not wanting to me an "American Idiot." Soon comes "Holiday," a number about the political trash the world depends on - by now we get the picture that "Jesus" is pretty PO'ed. What really pushes it is the, imo, heart of the album, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. It has the swearing, the bass solos, and all the things that make punk rock great, but it also has a more deep meaning. It's about the desperation he has and the lonliness he feels on his journey to find himself and his little utopia. Back to the story, though - "St. Jimmy" is this old crackpot who acts all great to "Jesus," but ends up getting him high and addicted to drugs. "Whatsername" saves him though, and though he's pissed, when the "Death Of St. Jimmy" (part 1 of "Homecoming") comes, he realizes St. Jimmy really did help him in a different way, in helping him realize that the idealistic utopia he's been searching for doesn't exist, and he must accept that. I never thought anyone could add so much meaning to punk rock, but BJ's vocals do it.
Overall Impression — 8
One word? Amazing. Some of the numbers are kind of lame though. "Extraordinary Girl" is a terrific melody, but the beginning with the Eastern drums? No. It takes up a good minute and lowers the effect of the song. Then there's "Letterbomb," another great melody about our main character's realization. But the little solo at the beginning with the "Nobody Likes You" thing going on? No! This could've bee a perfect album, but these small things kept it back. It's a terrific album overall, though, with my favorite tracks being "American Idiot," "Jesus Of Suburbia," "Holiday," "Blvd. Of Broken Dreams," "St. Jimmy," "She's A Rebel," "Letterbomb," and "Homecoming," but they're all worth listening to.