Album Review: Green Day - American Idiot
In 2001, after their least commercially successful album Warning had been released, pioneers of pop-punk Green Day hit the studio again to record their follow-up album, with the working title of Cigarettes and Valentines. Sadly, towards the end of the album’s recording, all the demo recordings were stolen by an unknown culprit. Rather than re-recording all their songs from memory, Singer Billie Joe, Drummer Tre Cool and Bassist Mike Dirnt decided to start from scratch. Hence, American Idiot.
Let’s talk first about the concept of American Idiot. On the face of it, the album tells the coming-of-age story of a street punk named St. Jimmy. To give a brief summary, he lives in the suburbs under the nick-name Jesus Of Suburbia, (see the album track, titled Jesus of Suburbia) runs away from home (Holiday/Boulevard of Broken Dreams) falls in love with a girl named whatshername, (She’s A Rebel) breaks up (Letterbomb) and eventually comes back home (Homecoming). Whilst other songs in the album add to the story, these are the main songs which, in my opinion, tell the key parts of this tale.
On another level, some of the key songs on the album, as well as its now infamous title-track, were a ferocious attack on the US President at the time, George W Bush, his administration and the Iraq War. Although most people realised it at the time, it has only recently been confirmed that this was the case.
One thing that amazes me is the number of incredible lyrics on this album. It has everything, from the straight-forward, down to earth attacks on society in anthems such as “American Idiot”, to the barrage of metaphors you receive on songs like “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” or “Jesus of Suburbia”.
– Jonah Davis
One thing that amazes me is the number of incredible lyrics on this album. It has everything, from the straight-forward, down to earth attacks on society in anthems such as “American Idiot”, to the barrage of metaphors you receive on songs like “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” or “Jesus of Suburbia”. My favourite lyrics on the album, from Jesus of Suburbia, are the opening lines of the song.
“I’m the son of rage and love, a Jesus of Suburbia/ The bible of none of the above, on a steady diet of/ Soda pop and ritalin/No-one ever died for my sins in hell, as far as I can tell, at least the ones I got away with.”
All in all, the incredible story of a young American Idiot that thousands of teenagers across the globe can relate to, as well as a much older American Idiot in the political arena that millions of adults can rally against, has taken the world by storm.
The Breakdown | Album Review: Green Day – American Idiot
The incredible riffs, slashing chords and aggressive yet now legendary lyrics make it an easy decision to give this album a ten out of ten.