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.