American Idiot review by Green Day

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  • Released: Sep 21, 2004
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.7 (908 votes)
Green Day: American Idiot
2

Sound — 10
American Idiot doesn't sound like Green Day. When I found out that the mass-produced Boulevard Of Broken Dreams were the same people as my all-time-favorite band: the creators of Basketcase, Church On Sunday, and Warning (I could go on but it would take like a century and a half) I didn't believe it. It just doesn't sound like them at all. However, much they have matured, however many kids they've had, however political the lyrics are: American Idiot is an awesome album. I don't care if Billie Joe Armstrong doesn't sound as nasal as he did in Longview as he does in Whatshername. Whatshername still rocks! What I also like about this album is that the three members of Green Day all put something into it. How many of you knew that Nobody Likes You was Mike Dirnt's? Rock n' roll girlfriend, while being really kind of random, is all about Tre Cool and his life. All the members of the band all have distinctive personalities, and you get to hear a little bit of everyone throughout the course of the record. I personally like the sound, even if it doesn't have that relatable feel like we saw in Dookie or even Insomniac.

Lyrics — 10
Ok. To clear up all the confusion I'm gonna break down the lyrics, track-by-track, so everyone's no longer confused about why the heck Are We the Waiting is in there: 01. American Idiot - angstey anthem of a guy called the Jesus Of Suburbia. He doesn't want to be an "American Idiot" because it's not what he's here for. 02. Jesus Of Suburbia - this is the backup story for the character Jesus Of Suburbia. He's in some teenager-ish age state, he lives with his mom and his stepfather brad, and he's a druggie with nothing to do. He'd bored out of his mind and sick of his suburban life so he runs away to the city. 03. Holiday - ok so the Jesus Of Suburbia is out on the streets with no real place to go (hence the "hear the sound of the falling rain" he's going back to his American Idiot idea and is thinking about his extreme anti-bush-ness. Or it could just be that Billie Joe wanted to put in his own opinions. OK, so Holiday is a great song, but it doesn't really fit into the story well. 04. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams - easy enough. Jesus Of Suburbia is all alone, sad and lonely on the streets. Night is beginning to fall, and when he sees the city lit up in lights. 05. Are We The Waiting - a lot of people might disagree with me from this track on, but Are We the waiting is just Jesus Of Suburbia's observations on his life. He can tell he's waiting for something, anything to happen to him but it's just not coming (also can be takes as JOS beginning to lose his mind). 06. St. Jimmy - how ironic, because St. Jimmy, the biggest-baddest-little you-know-what around comes up and meets JOS. Bing, Jesus isn't waiting anymore. No. He's a member of the Underbelly, St Jimmy's underground group of punk rockers. Fun. (Can also be taken as JoS's skitzo transformation into St Jimmy in order to keep alive on the streets, going along with the losing-his-mind routine). 07. Give Me Novocain - JOS's experimentation with drugs. Have fun with this one, kiddo. 08. She's A Rebel - JOS is in love. With the rebel queen Whatshername. He's really head over heals She's "holdin on his heart like a hand grenade" I wonder what will happen when she thrown that little grenade. 09. Extraordinary Girl - JOS still mooning over Whatshername. About how Lonely Whatshername really is, but now she has JOS, right? 10. Letterbomb - oh dear, Whatshername left JOS. Grenade thrown. She leaves him all alone with the taunting and creepy lines of "nobody likes you everyone left you they're all out without you having fun" talk about OUCH. 11. Wake Me Up When September Ends - really awesome track on the album. JOS is lonely once again, he's beginning to question why he's here (think of the Underbelly as the place described in Dookie's "Welcome To Paradise") there is also a sideline song about how Billie Joe's father died when he was 10 "like my father's come to pass, 20 years has gone so fast." 12.Homecoming - first off, St. Jimmy kills himself by shooting himself in the head (also know as: Jesus abandons his alternate persona of St. Jimmy) then Jesus waits around the Underbelly, even though St. Jimmy is gone, still waiting for Whatshername to come back "after 10 cups of coffee and your still not here) then, ever more random, is Tre Cool's song "rock'n'roll girlfriend" this isn't really as random as it seems. In the American Idiot Booklet, these lyrics come as a letter from the enigmatic "Tunny" who we find out through interviews with Green Day is a friend of Jesus'. Jesus was worried about his so Tunny sends back a smart reply "get off of my case!" And lastly, Jesus returns home, back to his boring suburban lifestyle, back to live with his mom and stepfather. (Talk about a happy ending). 13. Whatshername - but wait! There's more! The last track on the album, the sad but sweet track Whatshername, which is about how Jesus still remembers Whatshername, but can't recall her name, only her face. "I remember the face but I can't recall the name now I wonder how Whatshername has been." So there you are. Aren't you glad you have me here? And while some of the lyrics are a little wonky, they tell the story and that's what's important. I personally liked most of the lyrics, it felt like St. Jimmy was really telling you he was the Son Of A Gun and Edgar Allen Poe. It just felt real. As for singer skills, Billie Joe really surprised me. I know him from the stuffy-nosed paranoid 22-yr-old in Basketcase to the still stuffy-nosed loving husband in Church on Sunday. But in American Idiot, it looks like after 10 years, he finally found his way to a tissue box! His now clarified singing has definately gotten much better over time, and before this album, I just thought he was just a hobbit with a really awesome band. Now he's still a hobbit, with his 5-5 frame, but now he's a hobbit who can sing. I'm impressed. I thought the only hobbit who could sing was Merry Took like in the 3rd Lord of the Rings (Am I off topic here?)

Overall Impression — 10
It doesn't compare to the other albums they've made, because it's in an entirely different genre. But as to others of its kind, it's the best. Abso-friggin-lutely it's the best. From the signature power chords that begin American Idiot to the crash of the last cymbal on Whatshername, this album is just energetic and entertaining and it has you shamefully head banging and doing the Propaganda in your room. I don't hate much about this album, except that there are some parts where you can't understand a word he' saying like "my name is Jimmy and you bludda naw werggadow subbersidle coblader that your momma talked about." It's actually and you better not wear it out suicide commando but how the heck was I supposed to know that? Most impressive songs are Holiday, Wake Me Up When September Ends, Letterbomb, St. Jimmy, She's a Rebel. If it were stolen, I'd find out who did it and beat them with any given large blunt object. Then I'd take it back from their unconscious body and write in sharpie on their forehead "Wake Me Up When September Ends."

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