21 September 2013

21st September - Green Day's American Idiot

Artist – Album: Green Day – American Idiot
Released:  21st September 2004
Sounds Like: adolescence

Today’s blog started with a straight shoot out between two albums from my schooldays. One was a concept album by a group of aging American rockers featuring songs nearing the ten minute mark, whilst the other was only the third release from a rural English guitar band with a fervent obsession with Radiohead. Naturally I went for Muse’s Absolution over Green Day’s American Idiot, opting for what I thought was the best of a bad bunch. Then, I found out Absolution wasn’t released 10 years ago today at all – it doesn’t reach that milestone for another 8 days silly me. Although I was a bit perturbed about having to write about the album that featured the pop-punk anthem “American Idiot” and the boring slow ballads “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” that I remember the kids moshing to, in truth I was a bit relieved because all of Muse’s songs are just a bit samey. And then, when I pressed play, I didn’t hear the expected pretentious, hackneyed record from the titans of those insufferable genres emo and power punk, but a pretty awesome indictment of George Dubya Bush’s America, with stonking great songs and straight-to-the-point lyrics.

The most obvious influence is The Who, the inventors of the concept album and the rock opera, but other clear reference points include The Clash (strongly felt on the title track) and Bowie (on the likes of ‘Jesus of Suburbia’, the stronger of the two bookending suites.)

Post 9/11 America was a confused place, with the country in a war that most didn’t understand and many didn’t want, led by a man variously viewed as an unflinching protector and a bumbling imbecile. Many artists riled against the government but it’s American Idiot, along with Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Rising’, that delivered the best, most enduring testimony of the time.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.        American Idiot – 2:54
2.        Jesus of Suburbia – 9:08
3.        Holiday – 3:52
4.        Boulevard of Broken Dreams – 4:20
5.        Are We the Waiting – 2:42
6.        St. Jimmy – 2:56
7.        Give Me Novacaine – 3:25
8.        She’s a Rebel – 2:00
9.        Extraordinary Girl – 3:33
10.    Letterbomb – 4:05
11.    Wake Me Up When September Ends – 4:45
12.    Homecoming – 9:18
13.    Whatsername – 4:14

Listen to ‘She’s a Rebel’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1raCtM3UGk

Also released on 21st September:
1973: Faust – Faust IV

No comments:

Post a Comment