The first time I put American Idiot into the disc player, I knew it was going to be a totally different album from what Green Day has done in the past 15 years. It is the first time for them to make a concept album and it has sold millions of copies already until this moment. With American Idiot, the songs are poppier when compared with their old stuff, but you can tell they are carefully-crafted. Simple chords with catchy melody have been the formula of success of Green Day and this formula still works today. Even though the music of Green Day is not filled with crazy power chords or complex composition, their songs can still gain your attention even if you are not a pop punk fan.
Lyrically, Billie Joe Armstrong is one of the finest writers in the contemporary pop punk industry by using the simplest words and the most straight-forward sentence structure to tell his stories. Most of the lyrics in American Idiot are simple yet deep. Not only kids, other adults can also relate to it because they have covered themes more than teenage frustration this time – the Iraq War. One of my personal favorite lines in American Idiot must be this
“Home is where your heart is”/ but what a shame/ cuz everyone’s heart doesn’t beat the same” Jesus Of Suburbia, track 2
Once again, it shows how Green Day’s music can easily penetrate straight through your heart with Billie Joe’s lyrics and their simple melodies.
It’s not hard to notice Green Day did bet on their musical career on this album. Not so many major label bands have made concept album in these decade and for those have, most of them do not sell really well. But this time, Green Day decided to make a full length punk rock concept album with an offensive title, which on one side is definitely gimmicky but on the other side, it’s worth complimenting (at least they actually put the name on and sell it in America). The reason behind may be because there are so many new pop punk bands like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy, who have become more popular these days and the younger generation tends to embrace the new bands instead of the 80’s / 90’s pop punk veterans. This is like a proclaimation saying “hey kids this is what real pop punk sounds like!” To sum up, American Idiot is a pretty good entry album for young people who just get into Green Day’s music. But for the older fans of them, they may be disappointed because of its poppy sound. Nevertheless, if one day it was lost, as a die-hard fan of Green Day, I will definitely buy it again. It is worth paying only $12 to own their four-year-effort.