Sunday, July 14, 2013

Explore Albums: American Idiot by Green Day

Is American Idiot punk ? Yes.
Is Green Day punk? Maybe
Has Green Day sold out? I don't know and I don't care.
American Idiot was released by Green Day in the midst of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Perfectly coinciding with the Middle Eastern turmoil, the album explores political corruption in Washington, and the American public's willingness to accept misinformation of the government. There are other minor themes of the album, such as racism, institutional discrimination of minorities, and the backward mentality of the imprudent Southerns.

Explore Albums: American Idiot by Green Day
Green Day's American Idiot showcases some their best puck rock material
Staying true to their punk rock roots, Green Day produces this album from a point of view of an unintellectual American. Billie Joe Armstrong has stated that when was looking for ideas for the new album, he asked himself, "who is American idiot? What does he look like?" These thoughts are the larger building block of "American Idiot", the title track. This song exposes all the things wrong with America: political corruption, legalized bribery in Washington, biased media, unjust legal system that put Bush in office in the first place, and the Southern rednecks. Accumulation of all these factors makes the United States an "Idiot Nation," as described in the song. Title track is the "in conclusion" paragraph that sums up the key points of an essay on anti-establishment.

Then there's the antiwar song, "Holiday." This is a direct opposition of the Bush Administration's decision to invade Iraq -  a war now recognized as a waste of money and human lives. At the time, however, a larger portion of the American public bought into the lies of Vice President Dick Cheney. In fact, the media was also in the pockets of Washington politicians. The line "Television dreams of tomorrow, and we are not the one the meant to follow." refers to biased media feeding imprudent Americans.

"Jesus of Suburbia" is, in my opinion, a song that opposes Bush Administration's efforts of waging a war on drugs. Jesus, a normal American, uses drugs to keep him sane. As described in the song, "there's nothing" wrong with him, as "Mary Jane" ( refers to Marijuana ) is a drug that hasn't killed anybody. However that's quite contrary the opinion of Pres. Bush - who himself was once a dug user, may I remind everybody. In fact, many right-wing hypocrites/lunatics like Rush Limbaugh has said anybody who uses any drugs should be jailed immediately without a trail, but he caught with a bottle full of OxyContin. 

Few issues that aren't mentioned in the album are women's rights, degrading education system, and American's addiction to oil. But you can't ask everything to be covered in just one album, right?

The album showcases some of Billy Joe Armstrong's best writings. Songs were written such that they "get to the point" without too much art. Guitar ruffs, solos and drumming were also brilliant. Furthermore their American Idiot World Tour was also very well done - remaking the band as one of the best rock n' roll live bands in the world. As a result of all these, album was very well received by critics, winning multiple Grammy awards, and MTV music video awards. Single like "American Idiot", "Holiday", and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" were pretty hot on rock and pop radio. In my opinion Amerian Idiot isn't just one of the best punk rock albums, but it's one of the best albums of all time!

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