Green Day

American Idiot

BY Sam SutherlandPublished Oct 1, 2004

The potential for bloated excess was certainly there. A rock opera? By Green Day? Yes, they did, and yes, it works. Chronicling the life of the Jesus of Suburbia under the post-9/11 administration of the United States, the record is a scathing condemnation of North America’s current political climate. An ambitious undertaking for any band, the supposed limitations of pop-punk do nothing to constrain the musical vision of Green Day on this release, and though three-minute pop songs still dominate the record, they feature subtle recurring themes, both lyrical and musical. Then, there are the album’s duel five-part operettas. "Jesus of Suburbia” and "Homecoming” both clock in at over 12 minutes long, yet neither ever comes close to the plodding self-indulgence so often present in epics such as this. In many ways similar to NOFX’s brilliant The Decline, American Idiot is will likely be hailed as the band’s strongest work in their career — and possibly as the strongest and most surprising to emerge from the reign of George W. Bush.

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