Sep 212004
Authors: Nicholas LoFaro

Green Day, American Idiot

The days of Dookie seem so far away.

Say goodbye to the high-school-strung-out teenage anthems, and

welcome the new world adult perspectives of grown-up Green Day.

Their new album, American Idiot, has been heavily anticipated

because of its political attacks against Bush.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the boys from Anaheim.

Idiot sounds like Green Day’s tried and true punk sound and parents

are still advised.

But be advised, they grew up. The opening song, “American

Idiot,” encourages you to “sing along to the age of paranoia,” and

the five-part punk opera called “Jesus of Suburbia” tells a

narrative of lost youth and dreams through suburban America.

“Suburbia” has as much blasphemy as it has Biblical reference, and

all political views are subliminal clues.

Part II of “Suburbia” shows new ground for Green Day. They use a

piano, which also makes some surprising appearances later in the

album, and Part IV features some clever Beach Boys harmonies. On

Part II, Armstrong sings: “The graffiti in the bathroom stall/ is

like the holy scriptures in a shopping mall.” In Part III, Green

Day captures the youth view on the war: “We are the kids of war and

peace/from Anaheim to the Middle East.”

At this point in the album a question is poised: What if at the

end of the year, Bush is removed? Will the majority of the song

content be yesterday’s news? A song called “Wake Me Up When

September Ends” is a somber acoustic song much like their hit “Time

Of Your Life.”

Although the majority of the album attacks American leaders and

criticizes hypocrisy in the United States, don’t worry; there are

still plenty of songs that deal with love, self-loathing, and

rebellion. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is a cool acoustic song,

and “St. Jimmy” is a fast-punk story of the “suicide commando that

your momma talked about.”

Green Day’s political bashing is right on time, but it

overshadows the band’s growth as musicians. American Idiot is not

guaranteed to get the angry youth to vote, but is guaranteed to

make them think.

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