Sound — 8
I am a Green Day fan. When I heard about American Idiot, I cringed. Even as someone who wouldn't mind beating Bush to death, this is kind of cliche in the music world, and I don't want to hear more shit that reminds me how shitty the world is, I want to start hearing people crying about being rejected! That is much more fun! This album is very interesting in it's design, a "rock opera" about some young adult in the 'burbs. He is pissed about Bush, and life in general, goes to the city and regrets it essentially. So, this was a hard album to get right, but they nailed it. I don't hear as many awesome bass lines from Dirnt in this, although I'm not trying very hard to find them, they don't jump out at you as much. Cool's drumming is as badass as ever, but it's not as creative, or varied, or frantic, it's just him beating the hell out of the thing and ocassionally hitting another drum thingy. Still effective. The simple punk-ish power chord guitar playing of Armstrong is as usual creative and very catchy. But this time the tone has gone to shit. Anyone remember that awesome Straty tone of Armstrong's signature 'Blue' mongrel Stratocaster? Well, it's been replaced by the standard LP sounding shittiness that is par for the course in crappy bands these day's. The tone seems different, the distortion is crunchier and with less emotive qualities, it isn't the unique crunch he had in Blue. It's more straight up and boring. Still the actual chord playing while not as good as usual, is still relatively good. The band is trying for a harder, hit you in the balls type of sound, more distortiong, deeper bass, harder drumming, Armstrong's voice is heavier now.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are actually quite excellent. Minus American Idiot, and She's A Rebel, the lyrics are very good. Jesus Of Suburbia is a superb song. Homecoming as well, the whole album tell's a story in order, but I won't get into detail here, it's been accurately addressed by another reviewer (off on two songs). These are fairly depressing lyrical compositions. They aren't overally pop-ish as many want you to believe. This isn't just about Bush, this is about our entire culture, and all the stupid little nuances of it. This album completely caught me off guard, I expected a sell out, pseudo punk album to completely degrade this excellent band, instead it was a war cry. I was surpised.
Overall Impression — 10
Excellent. I was surprised. I actually wanted to hate it, even as someone who is very anti-Bush. This album is epic, and I feel the need to defend it. Although, the worst Green Day song ever, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, is on this album. That and American Idiot need to fucking die, they are so fucking annoying. I am sick of those two songs, they need to go. Now.