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American Idiot [Explicit Lyrics]

( 165 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
If you had to pick one band to don the "least likely to create a rock opera" mantle, Cali-punk trio Green Day would be among the most logical candidates. That makes the existence of American Idiot something of a surprise -- and the excellence of its contents little short of a revelation. There are no half measures on the sprawling disc. Billie Joe Armstrong has created a full slate of characters and given considerable thought to their back-stories -- heck, he even dug out a glockenspiel to add dramatic tension to the nine-minute epic "Jesus of Suburbia." Thing is, Armstrong and company haven't lost their snotty Gilman Street edge in the process -- as evidenced by the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
If you had to pick one band to don the "least likely to create a rock opera" mantle, Cali-punk trio Green Day would be among the most logical candidates. That makes the existence of American Idiot something of a surprise -- and the excellence of its contents little short of a revelation. There are no half measures on the sprawling disc. Billie Joe Armstrong has created a full slate of characters and given considerable thought to their back-stories -- heck, he even dug out a glockenspiel to add dramatic tension to the nine-minute epic "Jesus of Suburbia." Thing is, Armstrong and company haven't lost their snotty Gilman Street edge in the process -- as evidenced by the snarling, expletive-laced title track and the made-for-pogoing sing-along "Extraordinary Girl." While there's obviously a political subtext running through the disc, Armstrong seldom gets so specific that the disc will sound dated come the next election cycle. Instead, songs like the Clash-styled "Are We the Waiting" and the spare ballad "Wake Me Up when September Ends" delve into adult-oriented emotional distress with the same sort of incisiveness the band once applied to teen angst. While there are occasional lapses into utter excess -- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" encroaches on show-tune territory -- American Idiot packs enough power, both sonically and emotionally, to make it worthy of extended play and consideration for a 2004 time capsule.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's a bit tempting to peg Green Day's sprawling, ambitious, brilliant seventh album, American Idiot, as their version of a Who album, the next logical step forward from the Kinks-inspired popcraft of their underrated 2000 effort, Warning, but things aren't quite that simple. American Idiot is an unapologetic, unabashed rock opera, a form that Pete Townshend pioneered with Tommy, but Green Day doesn't use that for a blueprint as much as they use the Who's mini-opera "A Quick One, While He's Away," whose whirlwind succession of 90-second songs isn't only emulated on two song suites here, but provides the template for the larger 13-song cycle. But the Who are only one of many inspirations on this audacious, immensely entertaining album. The story of St. Jimmy has an arc similar to Hüsker Dü's landmark punk-opera Zen Arcade, while the music has grandiose flourishes straight out of both Queen and Rocky Horror Picture Show the '50s pastiche "Rock and Roll Girlfriend" is punk rock Meat Loaf, all tied together with a nervy urgency and a political passion reminiscent of the Clash, or all the anti-Reagan American hardcore bands of the '80s. These are just the clearest touchstones for American Idiot, but reducing the album to its influences gives the inaccurate impression that this is no more than a patchwork quilt of familiar sounds, when it's an idiosyncratic, visionary work in its own right. First of all, part of Green Day's appeal is how they have personalized the sounds of the past, making time-honored guitar rock traditions seem fresh, even vital. With their first albums, they styled themselves after first-generation punk they were too young to hear firsthand, and as their career progressed, the group not only synthesized these influences into something distinctive, but chief songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong turned into a muscular, versatile songwriter in his own right. Warning illustrated their growing musical acumen quite impressively, but here, the music isn't only tougher, it's fluid and, better still, it fuels the anger, disillusionment, heartbreak, frustration, and scathing wit at the core of American Idiot. And one of the truly startling things about American Idiot is how the increased musicality of the band is matched by Armstrong's incisive, cutting lyrics, which effectively convey the paranoia and fear of living in American in days after 9/11, but also veer into moving, intimate small-scale character sketches. There's a lot to absorb here, and cynics might dismiss it after one listen as a bit of a mess when it's really a rich, multi-faceted work, one that is bracing upon the first spin and grows in stature and becomes more addictive with each repeated play. Like all great concept albums, American Idiot works on several different levels. It can be taken as a collection of great songs -- songs that are as visceral or as poignant as Green Day at their best, songs that resonate outside of the larger canvas of the story, as the fiery anti-Dubya title anthem proves -- but these songs have a different, more lasting impact when taken as a whole. While its breakneck, freewheeling musicality has many inspirations, there really aren't many records like American Idiot bizarrely enough, the Fiery Furnaces' Blueberry Boat is one of the closest, at least on a sonic level, largely because both groups draw deeply from the kaleidoscopic "A Quick One". In its musical muscle and sweeping, politically charged narrative, it's something of a masterpiece, and one of the few -- if not the only -- records of 2004 to convey what it feels like to live in the strange, bewildering America of the early 2000s.
Entertainment Weekly - Stephen King
Not just the best album of the year, but one of the best to be released in the entire rock era.

Not just the best album of the year, but one of the best to be released in the entire rock era.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/2004
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • UPC: 093624877721
  • Catalog Number: 48777
  • Sales rank: 801

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Green Day Primary Artist
Tre Cool Drums, Vocals
Billie Joe Guitar, Vocals
Rob Cavallo Piano
Mike Dirnt Bass, Vocals
Billie Joe Armstrong Guitar, Vocals
Kathleen Hanna Vocals, Guest Appearance
Jason Freese Saxophone
Technical Credits
Tre Cool Composer
Green Day Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Ted Jensen Mastering
Doug McKean Engineer
Rob Cavallo Producer, Audio Production
Bill Schneider Guitar Techician
Nigel Lundemo Digital Editing
Mike Dirnt Composer
Chris Bilheimer Art Direction
Mike Fasano Drum Technician
Billie Joe Armstrong Composer
Reto Peter Engineer
Kenny Butler Drum Technician
Chris Dugan Engineer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 165 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(129)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The best album ever

    Seeing as how Green Day's new album 21st Century Breakdown is two days away from release some might see it pointless to review this cd but after reading many of the reviews on this sight I have a few things to say. First off, this is Green Day's best album because they grew up. Dont get me wrong 1991's 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours through 2000's Warning are all rememberable albums but American Idiot is the best. Another reviewer pointed out that the band grew up and matured because America grew up and matured. Yes the 90's were very laid back. Our biggest issues besides the end of the Gulf War were the huge Yellowstone fire and Bill Clintons little affair. When Billie Joe wrote the songs on the album Dookie most of our troops werent hunting for Osama bin laden and raiding the towns and homes of Iraqies and Afghanies. The twin towers were still up and the pentagon had yet to require remodeling due to a plane destroying part of the building. Green Day did the right move with this album because they said what needed to be said at the time. American Idiot is better than their previous albums because they grew up. The people that say this is the problem are clearly the ones that need to grow up themselves. Secondly, this album is not emo. Simple Plan and Fall Out Boy are emo. This album has raw emotion and its relatable in a mature way. Saying this album is emo is very much like saying The Wall by Pink Floyd is emo. Those two albums have similair stories and they are both amazing for a reason. Actual emo music consists of whiney teenagers who got a red mustang for their birthday when they wanted a black on. Thats all emo music is. Its people that dont have issues making up issues because depressed people seem to get more attention than happy peole but its all fake and stupid. American Idiot captures real situations and a) makes you relate to these issues and b) delivers them in a way that seem believable. Lastly I just want to defend Green Day for the way they look. For all you idiots reading this pay attention cause im only typing this once. THEY ARE ROCKSTARS. IF BILLIE JOE WANTS TO DRESS IN BLACK AND WEAR EYELINER THEN SHUT UP AND LET HIM!!! All you morons that claim to be die hard fans of Green Day yet hate this album for retarted reasons like the ones mentioned above please shut up. Just shut up. Why penalize a band that changed thier sound? If everyone was like you people all the other great bands would've failed too. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and many others wouldn't have succeeded if the world was full of tone deaf morons that clearly dont know what good mucic is.
    Michael Fee age 20

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Album I've Ever Listened To...

    When you ask people why they like a certain song, they may say they like it because it has a catchy beat or is something fun to dance to. If you were to ask me, I'd say the lyrics and inspiration behind the songs are first and foremost on my music priority list. When I had first heard of the album American Idiot, I thought that this was an album I wouldn't be forgetting anytime soon. And I was right. The first song I had listened to from the album was Extraordinary Girl. I immediately fell in love with it. The lyrics meant something to me. I felt... connected with it, as if Billie Joe was singing about me. I guess that proves how great he is at writing songs. I can honestly say that I had never felt that way about a song before. I immediate listened to other songs on the album. Whether it be the personal close-to-home Jesus of Suburbia, the intense and dark Boulevard of Broken Dreams, the painful but beautiful Give Me Novocain, or the small but great vocal additions of Mike Dirnt and Tre' Cool in Homecoming, I loved it all. But there was one song on the album that REALLY hit home. This song was so great and intense I still get watery eyes from it every single time I listen to it. That song would be the last song on the album, known as Whatsername. The song's meaning is mainly about trying to forget about somebody that you made a mistake with, and that it's you that has to live with it. I've been there, and I can't get it out of my mind. So for me, the song Whatsername is like therapy. My favorite part of the song would have to be the following lines, "And in the darkest night, If my memory serves me right, I'll never turn back time, Forgetting you but not the time..." In conclusion, this is by far the best album I've ever listened to. I HIGHLY recommend this album, and look forward to every future Green Day album.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding is totally to LOW of a rating!

    Before i heard about Green Day i was like into pop and stuff like that, but one day i heard Blvd of Broken Dreams on the radio and i vowed to figure out who sang it then a couple nights later on Saturday Night Live the music guest was Green Day and the first song they played was Blvd of Broken Dreams so i was like OH MY GOD thats who does that song! I just had to go out and buy that CD and now Green Day is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME!I hate to listen to pop music now, now i mostly listen to classic rock and punk rock.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Green Day's Best Album

    This is really a great album. Some of it is a bit softer than I like (Wake Me Up When September Ends, etc.), but I'm not going to knock good music. They did a better job with this CD than with their others, which are also good. I definitely recommend this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    one very amazing rock opera

    amazing from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely Amazing

    I have been listening to this album for 6 years on a daily basis. I now listen to the cast version from the Broadway show. This album and their 21'st Century Breakdown album changed my life. I have never been addicted to a band, but this music is different. This music seeped into my soul and brought me to a place I have never been before. Get this album, listen to it and then listen to it again. You can find a piece of yourself in every song.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best

    It's a great CD! Really relaxing

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Green Day is the Best

    When I first heard of Green Day's American Idiot I thought that this would be something that no one would forget and it is true. It has been a while since the CD came out and a new one is around the corner and people seem to be talking about it more than I remember. I love the way that the lyrics are. They make you feel like you're in the shoes of Jimmy from begining to the very end. That is what I like about the way Bille Joe Armstrong writes, it makes you feel like it's happening to you. When I watched the Jesus of Saburbia music video I felt like I was tied even closter to the music for some reason and now I look beond the lyrics and see the true story behind the whole story. That song seemed to open my eyes for me in more ways than one. What I wonder is what is going to happen in the next CD and will it open my eyes even further and I'll see beond the words and find something inside of me that I didn't know of before. That's another thing about Green Day you can find yourself by listening to what they have to say. Listening to what they have to say will probably help someone more than visiting a shrink will. I can't wait for the New CD to come out and it is drawing near. I know that I will be one of the first people to buy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one very awesome green day album

    green day is the best of the best enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one very awesome studio album by green day

    this band is the best of the best enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    green day is frikin awesome

    green day is the best of the best when it comes down to the music they really know how to make fun awesome songs and plus they all have awesome songwriting skills im happy for green day cant wait till i pre order the follow up to american idiot

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one very rad and raw awesome album by green day

    green day is the best of the best enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Extremely Terrible

    This is one of the worst albums I have ever UNFORTUNATLY listened to. Green Day has no talent at all and are sad excuse of a "rock band" I don't even consider them rock. If you are thinking about buying this CD DONT instead buy a CD that is worth your time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Who are the REAL American Idiots?

    Green Day is in my opinion, my favorite band. I've grown up to the catchy, fast-paced tunes since I was like 10 and have always enjoyed every CD that they put out. I got a little skeptical about everything after Nimrod but hey bands mature over time so granted so does their sound. After hearing the new hit "American Idiot" come out over the radio, my skeptical point-of-view grew even more. As I listened to the CD, it became clear to me that the band that I have grown to love, has become nothing more than a radio-friendly, mainstream band. Granted, there's some life left in a couple of the tracks on it like Jesus of Suburbia, and St. Jimmy, which I kinda enjoyed, but honestly their full potential lies within all the albums from Nimrod and behind. This is what I hate about major-label companies. They completely destroy bands. People who create music should be able to write and play it anyway they desire, and to be corrupt on how to play it due to money just disappoints me. But its just my opinion. For me to see people who come into a music store and jump around saying American Idiot is the greatest album out by Green Day, it gives me the assumption that they have not experienced anything prior to that, or they are just flat out ignorant... and I personally laugh at that. But don't get me wrong. I am a die-hard fan and my suggestion is that if you wanna listen to it go right ahead. But for everyone who wants a true Green Day album to listen to, this album just may not cut it for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great

    i love it! i like listening to wake me up when sept. ends because it reminds me of my first dance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This album is the best! All the tracks, I Love them and when I first got it, i had to keep on playing it. I just started to like rock music and when I heard American Idiot on the radio, I was like: WHo the in the world are they??? Rock on Green Day! I wish I could have gone to their concert here in Columbia Md but they were all SOLD OUT. I like Billie Joe he is so good looking, I wish I was his wife . Cant wait for the next album.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Green Day Rocks!!!

    all of their albums are amzing, and this one is no exception. all of the songs have so much meaning put into them. the songs deal with real problems that we all will incounter eventually in our lives. this album only puts those problems into music and is wonderful. i can't stop listening to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This album is incredible!

    This album is great! It's a lot different form their previous albums, but you can tell the band has matured from their last albums to this one. The lyrics and story lines to this album are incredible. Anyone who doesn't have it seriously needs to get it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The worst Green Day Album EVER!!

    If I thought Green Day sold out when I heard Nimrod, this album takes the cake. I don't agree with any of the comparisons drawn to other actual GREAT ALBUMS that people where lauding this load of dung of an album as the next.... I hate these songs and I want to break my finger changing the station anytime a song from it comes on the radio.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!!!

    Green Day is probably the best rock band on the face of the Earth! Their CDs 'Warning' and 'Dookie' are great, but 'American Idiot' tops them both.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews