Sound — 6
Where to start? The sound of this album is nowhere near as vibrant and expressive as Green Day's previous albums. They once sang of young love, living the punk lifestyle, having grudges against the people who harmed you, you name it. Now their music is filled with mindless crying lyrics that seem as if they were written by a fourth grader. I will give Green Day props for the inclusion of some decent easy riffs that keep the pace of the song, and an attempt to include some solos. The inclusion of Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool on the song Homecoming is a nice touch as well, but overall, Green Day have matured, and I think for the worst.
Lyrics — 7
When one listens to a few songs off of Dookie, or even Green Day's awesome first album, 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, you're immersed into a punk lifestyle filled with love, hate, excitement, and countless other emotions. In American Idiot, however, all this seems to have been tossed out the window and run over by trampling buffalo. Gone are the aforementioned emotions, and they are replaced simply with sadness, a bitter excuse of love, and not much else. The only real songs that I believe stick close to Green Day's roots are the title track, American Idiot, and Saint Jimmy. Jesus of Suburbia and Homecoming are nice 9 minute ballads which really make this album feel like what it attempts to be: a concept album. Although the idea seemed incredible for a punk band to do, the change of emotions and style ultimately made this section of the album a so-so rating.
Overall Impression — 8
Well, this wasn't what I really was expecting from one of my favorite bands that I had been listening to since Dookie came out. What I expected was screaming riffs, exciting lyrics, and an overall blast to listen to. This album ultimately failed on all those parts to me. Although the album started off nicely, with a fast paced, "F--k You!" kind of song, the rest felt ultimately hurried and unaccomplished. Many would argue and say "This is their finest album." A good album doesn't rely on piles of awards and grammies, people. If you want to hear the real Green Day, go listen to some Kerplunk, or maybe even Dookie. Please don't judge them for this heap of garbage, but what they really used to be: a punk band with one motive, and that is to entertain, not make money.