Sound — 8
This is, without doubt, one of the albums of 2004. I find it strange that so many people think Green Day have changed their sound so much though, judging by some other reviews on here. Yes, some of the songs do sound different to some Green Day songs, but, they are not over different from theirr other songs. American Idiot, She's A Rebel, Letterbomb and some others sound like they could fit on any other Green Day album, and, in all fairness, Holiday etc all sound like they could be on other pop-punk records. I am not trying to criticise this album, but really just state my beliefs and for those interested, I do like the sound of the album except for maybe a few things. This CD is extremely well produced, maybe even over-produced. For this reason I find myself getting bored by it after a while, because I prefer the harder hitting, rawer sounds that come from punk. The rawness makes it seem more enegetic, and the production of this record does seem to take away some of that energy. However, it is an extremely easy album to listen to and all the songs sound very good. The effects used on Boulevard Of Broken Dreams is a neat clever touch, and the guitar overdubs are used wisely.
Lyrics — 8
Personally, I was confused by the lyrics. I think they're good, but I got very confused by the story. As mentioned in an earlier review, after Jimmy "commits suicide," we hear the "I've got a rock and roll house" etc with trumpets and everything seems really joyous, although the storyline should mean that the following lyrics should be downbeat. Other than that, the lyrics are very good, Wake Me Up When September Ends would be the lyrical highlight for me, with "Holiday" as a close second. These lyrics work well, and also make good sense, unlike the bizzare lyrics to "Homecoming (IV Rock And Roll Girlfriend)."
Overall Impression — 8
American Idiot is a very good, very well produced album. Is it Green Day doing what every pop punk band seems to be doing by "maturing"? Not really, when considering they have always been vocal politically and probably the most punk out of the pop punk bunch. There aren't any awful songs on here, and I will gladly listen to the album all through without skipping any tracks, however, there are some down points. For example, I just don't get Are We The Waiting and the more and more I listen to the 9 minute tracks, the more I think they don't work as well as I thought originally, although they are good tracks. The standout songs for me are Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (which I fear is getting to be overplayed), Holiday and Wake Me Up When September Ends. American Idiot is a good song, but is not the best on the album. As good as the album is, and it is good, it does bore me after a few listens. Therefore I wouldn't call it one of the greatest albums ever. I can't play it over and over like I can with Nirvana's In Utero. However, I do rate this album as one of the best I own, which seems really strange considering how much I feel I could criticise. The main thing is, this album contains some superb songs. They are songs that wouldn't sound bad on a greatest hits album, and, if on any other Green Day album, would possibly be classed as one of the best. If I lost this CD, or if it was stolen, I would buy it again. Still none as good as Basket Case, although they're getting there! I recommend you to buy this album.