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Green Day: American Idiot
Don't Want A Nation Controlled By The Media
Okay - I'm baised. I've loved Green Day since their third album Dookie came out in 1994. This Berkley, California-based trio have given me many great songs to pogo to over the years - well into my 30s - and, amazingly, American Idiot (their ninth album) is truly a coming of age for these wise punk-pop masters and is a testament to Green Day's coherence as modern punk rock songwriters.

In an age of war and fear, and manipulation of the media, Green Day have written
their version of the truth, and American Idiot is the result.

As a complete LP it is something of a
rarity. Part rock opera (in the style of, say, Quadrophenia), with resurfacing characters and continuing themes; and part punk rock Christmas (short, sharp anthemic themes and choruses with lots of harmonies) - American Idiot is not far from perfection to guitar music fans. It is an incredible collection of songs, riffs and ideas. All wrapped-up in a big "fuck you"
Pros
Every track is a winner. Superb musicianship. Great punk rock.

Cons
It isn't longer.

Comment
Finest punk LP of the century - so far.
"Nine albums in and Green Day produce their best yet. American Idiot is an album full of great songs, identifiable lyrics, thumping rhythms and cutting guitar riffs. If you don't yet own it: buy it now."
And Can You Hear The Sound Of Hysteria?
With the already infamous and powerful "American Idiot" the album sets out it's stall and has us jumping around and cheering along like crazed loons (at least those of us that have any sense). It's a blazing opener...

Track two -
"Jesus Of Suburbia" is different to many Green Day songs in various different ways. Firstly: it's nine minutes long. Secondly: the song is broken down into smaller 'songlets' that weave together perfectly. As touched upon earlier; here we see Green Day creating recognisable characters that reoccur throughout many songs (the titular Jesus Of Suburbia is obviously someone they know - or someone we all know). Thirdly: each vignette seems to tell part of a story that flows through the entire album. Fourthly: it rocks! Shit - this is Green Day on highest form...

The third track
"Holiday" became a single. The album is full of singles. Fourth track "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" is absolutely Green Day at their bitter-sweet best. A haunting, swaying ballad that deservedly got a lot of airplay.

In track five
"Are We The Waiting" the Jesus Of Suburbia makes a reappearance as Green Day incite the crowd into holding up their lighters (ugh) to make their protest heard (yay). Then immediately, as the lighters run out of gas, in crashes "St. Jimmy" - a rollicking good tune about a character we come to know well by the end of the album. He's the patron saint of the denial, with an angel face and a taste for suicidal.

"Give Me Novacaine" brings us back to Earth with soothing slide guitar, before mashing us up again with a smash-and-grab overdriven chorus and rousing guitar solos.

"She's A Rebel" - a favourite - is a foot-stomping Green Day power anthem par excellence. "Is she dreaming what I'm thinking? Is she the mother of all bombs - gonna detonate?" Drummer Tre Cool excels throughout American idiot, but "She's A Rebel" is probably his finest hour.

"Extraordinary Girl" begins strangely, but quickly gets going towards it's catchy chorus and girlfriend-pleasing theme. Arguably the weakest song on the album - "Extraordinary Girl" is still a superb composition, and would still be a best-selling single among the dirge of the charts.

"Letterbomb" - track ten - is a punk rock classic. Straightforward; laced with swearing; immensely powerful; catchy, and with roaring production - it doesn't fail to impress on all levels.

Track eleven,
"Wake Me Up Before September Ends" is a haunting segueway into the album's second nine minute epic: "Homecoming". Like "Jesus Of Suburbia" "Homecoming" is broken down into smaller connected songlets - each with something unique and amazing to add to the proceedings. In my mind "Homecoming" is the single best track on American Idiot. It bounds from one amazing place to another and uses every second of it's nine minute length to take us somewhere we've never been before with Green Day.

After "Homecoming" you might expect the last track on the LP to be something of an anticlimax. It isn't here.
"Whatsername" will undoubtedly touch a nerve with those that have been through a torrid break-up - which is pretty much everyone, then - and will remind them that it's simply not worth the upset. Cheer up. Green Day are back and they're better than ever.
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The Subliminal Mind-Fuck America
Having heard this album, and having lived in America, maybe it's all too clear for me: Green Day have hit the nail on the head with American Idiot. For some Americans being an American is a pretty embarrassing and shameful thing to be at this present time. And believe me: I feel for them.

But, regardless of the politics, American Idiot is without doubt a
marvellous addition to punk rock history. Guitar, bass and drums (and a whole host of other instruments) have not gelled together this well for some time. Neither has there been a better time for protest, and Green Day protest well.

Green Day have been teetering on the brink of a
classic for some years, and American Idiot is that album.
More About Green Day
Green Day comprises of childhood friends Billie Joe Armstrong (guitars, vocals), Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tre Cool (drums). The band came together in California when Armstrong and Dirnt formed a band named Sweet Children while in their teens. When drummer Al Sobrante was added to the line-up in 1989: Green Day was formed - though Tre Cool became the band's permanent drummer after the release of their first LP and after Sobrante decided to go to college.

Official website: http://www.greenday.com/

Discography
1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours - Released: 1990
Kerplunk! - Released: January, 1992
Dookie - Released: February, 1994
Insomniac - Released: October, 1995
Nimrod - Released: October, 1997
Warning - Released: October, 2000
International Superhits - Released: November, 2001
Shenanigans - Released: July, 2002
American Idiot - Released: September, 2004
American Idiot Track Listing
1. American Idiot
2. Jesus of Suburbia
    I. Jesus of Suburbia
    II. City of the Damned
    III. I Don't Care
    IV. Dearly Beloved
    V. Tales Of Another Broken Home
3. Holiday
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
10. Letterbomb
11. Wake Me Up When September Ends
12. Homecoming
    I. The Death of St. Jimmy
    II. East 12th St.
    III. Nobody Likes You
    IV. Rock and Roll Girlfriend
    V. We're Coming Home Again
13. Whatsername
Tre, Billie Joe & Mike East Bay Punk Rock Greatest living punk rock band? Dumbass character
Click to read full review...
Review © 2005 Paul Mallinson
Green Day American Idiot
Product: Ninth and best album from USA's finest punk rock trio
Aimed at: Punk rock-lovers and disillusioned youth
Label: Warner Reprise    Price: 8.99
Features: 13 tracks of punk rock perfection
RATING: 95 out of 100
Good places to buy American Idiot :
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ http://www.play.com/
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