Music » CD Reviews

Green Day

American Idiot (Warner Bros.)

by

comment
American Idiot -- widely described as a "punk-rock opera" -- comes full circle, back to Green Day's 1994 mainstream breakthrough, Dookie. That album detailed the raging, Generation X boredom of teen punks; Idiot is ostensibly a chronicle of one of those burnouts 10 years later -- still frustrated and angry, but this time having a quarter-life crisis and feeling oppressed by a suffocating political climate.

But where Dookie's themes felt galvanizing enough to shake the mohawks out of their ennui, Idiot's indignation feels as buttoned-up as a Gap dress shirt. This is largely due to the ambitious sprawl of the music, which too often strays from rabble-rousing snarls to uninteresting flirtations with overblown power balladry and generic pop-punk. Which is a shame, since there are also some truly fantastic moments: The title track is a whir of throttling chords and punching-bag beats, while the nuanced, acoustic-electric friction sizzling on "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" lends emotional richness. Still, as with many attempts at concept albums, Green Day's ambition outreaches its execution.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.