Release Date: Sep 21, 2004
Record label: Reprise
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
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.
One of the presidential election campaign's stranger sights to date has been that of John Kerry sharing a podium with Blink-182's Tom DeLonge, the man behind such albums as Enema of the State. Californian punk-pop, usually concerned with cars and girls, has abruptly reconnected with punk's tradition of social outrage. Even so, it's surprising to hear Green Day, the trio whose pogoing skate-pop inadvertently invented Busted, warning us of the dangers of "one nation controlled by the media".