American Idiot

  • Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Sep 21, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. In its musical muscle and sweeping, politically charged narrative, it's something of a masterpiece, and one of the few -- if not the only -- records of 2004 to convey what it feels like to live in the strange, bewildering America of the early 2000s.
  2. For all its grandiosity, American Idiot keeps its mood and method deliberately, tenaciously, and angrily on point.
  3. Uncut
    Fans will be relieved to know that although it pulls few lyrical punches, slam-dancing is still possible. [Nov 2004, p.119]
  4. Q Magazine
    A powerful work, noble in both intent and execution. [Nov 2004, p.110]
  5. Mojo
    It's exhilarating stuff, the kind of record that sets new parameters as to what is possible from a punk rock'n'roll band in the 21st century. [Oct 2004, p.106]
  6. Against all odds, Green Day have found a way to hit their thirties without either betraying their original spirit or falling on their faces.
  7. New Musical Express (NME)
    An onslaught of varied and marvellously good tunes presented in an unexpectedly inventive way. [18 Sep 2004, p.65]
  8. An album that doesn’t sell us short on the pop hooks of albums past, but one that also delivers a healthy dose of politics to the mix without sounding like a six-legged cliché-riddled embarrassment.
  9. American Idiot is a mess - but a vivid, splashy, even courageous mess.
  10. The observations don't always dig as deep as they're meant to, and buzzwords occasionally stand in for insights, but American Idiot finds Green Day both shaking up its formula and applying it in novel and unexpected ways.
  11. Entertainment Weekly
    As often happens with concept albums, the disc tends to rely on lyrics over music, so some of the songs are forgettable. [24 Sep 2004, p.105]
  12. As pretentious a concept as that might seem, Green Day pulls it off brilliantly.
  13. Self-referential, unified, and insanely catchy, American Idiot's positives outweigh its clichéd delivery and ironic medium for corporate America critique.
  14. Blender
    Concept or not, American Idiot is still decent fodder for a mosh pit, a luagh and a sob session. [Nov 2004, p.136]
  15. American Idiot is one of the most politically volatile albums to come out since the ascension of the Accidental President. It's also the best album of Green Day's 12-year career.
  16. Green Day trumps any pretension with melody and sheer fervor.
  17. If the forced lyrical growth is a little stunted, it’s more than made up for by the band’s newfound sonic ambitions.
  18. It is exactly what the band needs to boost itself to the next level of pop-punk prowess.
  19. Not only does it contain Green Day’s finest songs (and choruses) to date... but it also scratches at the surface of political dissatisfaction with nails sharp enough to leave a nasty scar.
  20. This is the type of album impressionable teenagers fall in love with, crammed with melody and variety and thrill.
  21. There are several duff tracks, certainly. And, sure, as a whole 'American Idiot' can easily be criticised for its simplistic, occasionally naïve sixth form lyrics, all round pomposity and general adherence to the group's tried and tested formula of punchy three-chord pogo-pop. But it's still a wonderfully entertaining, polemical punk rock record.
  22. American Idiot isn't so much meticulously crafted as it is unflinchingly audacious.
  23. There's still plenty of spunk in to be found in this Sgt. Pepper-lite.
  24. As a rock opera, Idiot is a mostly three-penny thrill.
  25. An energetic, musically ambitious pop-rock record that employs its expanded vistas in the service of animating punk's well-worn thematic underpinnings.
  26. There's no economics, no race, hardly any compassion. Joe name-checks America as if his hometown of Berkeley was in the middle of it, then name-checks Jesus as if he's never met anyone who's attended church. And to lend his maunderings rock grandeur, he ties them together with devices that sunk under their own weight back when the Who invented them.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 691 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 329
  1. patc
    Oct 3, 2004
    its got it all. great album.
  2. CRL
    Jul 26, 2011
    No one saw this coming. Green Day makes a rock opera, and then that rock opera becomes one of the greatest of the decade. This album neverNo one saw this coming. Green Day makes a rock opera, and then that rock opera becomes one of the greatest of the decade. This album never lets up from the scorching prelude that is the title track, to the emotionally charged ending. Full Review »
  3. Mar 9, 2012
    One of the best albums of the 2000-2009 decade. This album was a classic and it still is. I dont listen to it as much as i did in 2004 ****One of the best albums of the 2000-2009 decade. This album was a classic and it still is. I dont listen to it as much as i did in 2004 **** still the best album since Nirvana's Nevermind Full Review »