The Bottom Line
- The heroic sound
- Green Day's reach beyond simple popular music
- The trio's powerful energy
- A bit over-ambitious for some
- Expansive, ambitious rock opera
- Underlying anger with the presidency of George W. Bush
- Much of the music is more rock than punk
Guide Review - Green Day - American Idiot
One of the most brilliant aspects of American Idiot is that Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool perform with such intensity that nearly every song sounds important. The three rage with such amazing energy that the ambience is positively heroic.
Green Day's ability to translate the adolescent life experience into song was first abundantly evident on the album Dookie 10 years earlier. American Idiot goes well beyond whining and toilet humor to get inside the head of their protagonist this time. Whether it's depicting the solitary journey of "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" or the end of innocence in "Wake Me Up When September Ends," Billie Joe Armstrong is very effective at distilling the confusion and pain of young adulthood.
Billie Joe Armstrong has stated that an experimental attempt to do something larger and more like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" ultimately became American Idiot. Thus far, this experiment has sold 4 million albums and spawned four hit singles - "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams," "American Idiot," "Holiday," and "Wake Me Up When September Ends."