|Album Review: 'American Idiot' by Green Day|
|Written by Jeremy Schultz, Vidette Blogger|
|Wednesday, 23 March 2011 01:47|
Earlier this school year I came across "American Idiot" by Green Day for sale on the quad for $1. I was just getting into the whole ‘buying-used-CD’ thing so I didn’t realize what a deal I was getting at the time. Not only is "American Idiot" one of the most critically acclaimed albums that I’ve ever purchased but it is also one of the cheapest as well as among the most recently released albums that I’ve ever found.
Let’s start things off with a proclamation from yours truly. There was a time when I despised this album. Absolutely despised it. The frequent, annoying, painful, mind-numbingly excruciating amount of radio play that singles from this album received was sickening. "American Idiot" was everywhere. It was disgusting. Automatically this stigma against the album materialized in my head and I never gave the album a second chance. Finding it for sale for a buck seemed intriguing to me.
It seemed like there was no downside to walking away with the CD because the loss of a dollar would be almost insignificant if I ended up hating the rest of the album as well as the singles released (which I already thought were complete garbage to begin with). I figured that even if it did suck as much as I thought it would that it would at least make for a good conversation piece as placeholder in my CD collection or a potential gift for a friend or something along those lines. The deal was made and the goods exchanged hands.
Welcome back to the present. I have another proclamation. I don’t hate this album nearly as much as I thought I would. Dare I say it, I actually find myself enjoying this album to a degree where I don’t even want to admit that I like the album.
The band was faced with a choice; go back and rerecord the entire album or start from scratch with a new record. They decided Candy and Cigarettes was nothing special and began work on a new "new album."
It’s amazing that the fate of a band can be determined practically by the side of a coin flip. I find it incredibly impressive that a band can take recorded material, trash it, along with the idea of rerecording it, and not only come up with a brand new album, but one that will also become immensely popular. A band that has the fortitude to be able to make the internal decision between quality and everything else retains some serious skill.
I’ve come to realize that upon rediscovering an overplayed track years later that these tracks tend to be enjoyable after not hearing them played to near-death. When I heard Boulevard of Broken Dreams on the CD it must have been the first time I heard it in a while because I didn’t get the gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach. Hearing the singles and enjoying what I was hearing was radically different from what I was scarred with years before.
It isn’t too surprising that Billy Joe Armstrong would turn around a make a musical out of the album because "American Idiot" almost caters to the ability of a script to be crafted from the music. In most cases I loathe political bands and any sort of music relating to politics whatever the side, stance, or issue being lectured about.
"American Idiot" somehow finds a way to be completely captivating, entertaining, and pleasing without being annoying or bogged down by political stands being held. I listened to "American Idiot" for the music and that’s what I heard. My ears are delighted.