|1. American Idiot|
|2. Jesus Of Suburbia|
|4. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams|
|5. Are We The Waiting|
|6. St. Jimmy|
|7. Give Me Novacaine|
|8. She's A Rebel|
|9. Extraordinary Girl|
|11. Wake Me Up When September Ends|
I'd originally bought this on the back of the singles 'American Idiot' and 'Holiday', but the album is far richer and cleverly constructed than just those songs. This is an album on a mission, blending sounds and meaning with a message that America is not happy about how it stands today. From beginning to end there are references to characters whose intentions start off well enough, but who eventually succumb to apathy and disillusionment in the face of an arrogant establishment ignoring their cries for change. Many will read more or less into it than that, but the quality and variety of melodies packed into a decent-length (just short of an hour) recording is unquestionable. This is terrific, powerful musicianship at work, generating memorable tunes that take unexpected turns to keep the interest constantly engaged.
The fact that so many songs refer to each other can make it an album that is difficult to flick through or listen to odd songs in isolation. And the band have pulled an extra trick on this recording, putting together two vast songs which run to over 9 minutes each. The two tracks, spanning five stanzas ('Jesus of Suburbia' and 'Homecoming') are stunning works of musical genius, telling a grandiose story and utilising a vast array of instruments and styles. They are imperious, epic pieces of work, and by far the most original set-pieces I have heard this year. Curious that track 13, Whatsername, should lie after the second of these, as it would make an absolutely perfect grand finale with its thumping drums and chanting run out at the end.
American Idiot is not the album I expected it to be; it is much, much better than I could have hoped for. 5 stars all the way.
The singles to start with, the title song, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams," "Holiday" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends" have their videos on the DVD, but they are all superb and have dented the charts with great impact, "Jesus Of Suburbia" is a five-part classic aswell as the rest of the songs mentioned here. "Are We The Waiting" is a good song with good singing from Billie Joe, quite short, but good.
"St. Jimmy" is a great song with awesome lyrics in it, and it's really catchy. "Give Me Novacaine" is very strong in the chorus, but soft in the verses, great guitars! "She's A Rebel" is quite good, I think, music is great throughout this album aswell, "Extraordinary Girl" is not as good as the rest, I don't really listen to it much. "Letterbomb" is explosive though, good lyrics (no wonder Billie Joe is so good at songwriting, I envy him a bit).
"Homecoming" is another five-part classic aswell, the final song "Whatsername" is a great ender with the final lyrics going like, "Forgetting you but not the time...". Overall "American Idiot" is a massive rock and roll album throughout, so please buy it if you don't have it. Green Day are one of the best-selling rock and roll artists in the world, so don't let them down!
~ Calum Fairweather (Green Day fan)
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