• Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Sep 21, 2004
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 835 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 835

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  1. Nov 1, 2018
    4
    Retro album review! Going back to favs from middle school and seeing what I find and what I think about it now. American Idiot is a solid pop punk album, but the intended goal for it and what it was originally marketed as was a concept rock opera. For that reason, I have to critique it from this lens. On the surface, this is an album that is well-polished in terms of its production value.Retro album review! Going back to favs from middle school and seeing what I find and what I think about it now. American Idiot is a solid pop punk album, but the intended goal for it and what it was originally marketed as was a concept rock opera. For that reason, I have to critique it from this lens. On the surface, this is an album that is well-polished in terms of its production value. Nearly every song on this album is easy to get into and sounds good, I would guess, to nearly anyone with ears. The hooks are really well done, and the hits especially from this album still stand out with how polished they are.

    As we get more into the nitty-gritty, that's where this album begins to show its weaknesses. And trust me, there are several. As a storytelling medium, American Idiot really fails on all accounts. It establishes a character, but only in "Jesus of Suburbia". What happens to this character exactly? What conflicts and resolutions does he come to throughout the album? It's really not clearly laid out. Who are the other characters? There's the Rebel from, "She's a Rebel," sure; but she doesn't really say or do anything except win over the main character's affection. Period. That's it. She's a suicidal punk with regrets(?).

    The next weakness I see is the flow from one song to the next. As a standalone song, "American Idiot" is a solid pop punk song. But in terms of where it fits on this album? It doesn't really make any sense. It's a politically-charged song with no relation to this album's main character. Then to add, some of the songs that are put together--especially on the longer "Jesus" and "Homecoming,"--there doesn't seem to be any true logic or reasoning behind forcing these pieces together other than from a technical/logistical standpoint of, "We wrote this hook! I wrote 9 variations of the same hook in different tempos! Let's use all of them and abruptly cut from one to the next and call it an "operatic"."

    Having said that, I can't at all deny some of the best songs on this album: "Letterbomb," probably being the most standout track by far. However, I wish that some of the other tracks, especially, "Extraordinary Girl," and "Are we the Waiting," would have been pushed to the same tier as this song. The more I have listened to this album over the years and the more I have let myself be really objective with what this album does and the decisions that were made in it, it becomes undeniable that this is a pop punk album with 7 polished hits and 6 filler tracks that weren't fully flushed-out before it was released.
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  2. Feb 25, 2018
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I used to adore this record when i was 14, but listening to it today, i realized it's actually very boring. Even though there's a lot going on, it just feels so bland. The sound is so commercially tweaked and is the opposite of what real ounk should be. Okay there are some memorable hooks, melodies, riffs but it's just bland, insipid, boring. I don't think i will ever listen to it again ever, because it just doesn't have anything substantial to offer. Expand
  3. alexa
    Jun 18, 2008
    4
    Sub-sub-par Green Day at best. So much of it is forced and reachy, musically and lyrically. The well is tapped I'm sad sad sad to say; I'm the biggest GD fan there ever was...was.
  4. MusicLover
    Oct 21, 2007
    6
    This album was sort of just a plain rock album. Don't get me wrong: it had good songs on it. I loved how they had medleys like "Jesus Of Suburbia" & "Homecoming", but it didn't offer something totally new. It almost turned me off from Green Day, but I still love them.
  5. DaveyB
    Sep 15, 2006
    4
    Average at best. Greenday employ the oldest "reinvented" trick in the book and fool every freshman in the world. As a massive greenday fan since 2031/smoothed out/ slappy hours, I was bitterly dissapointed. Typical greenday, well have to wait 3 years for another album too. The promise of the title track squandered at the expense of selling a mythical rock opera!! One word to describe Average at best. Greenday employ the oldest "reinvented" trick in the book and fool every freshman in the world. As a massive greenday fan since 2031/smoothed out/ slappy hours, I was bitterly dissapointed. Typical greenday, well have to wait 3 years for another album too. The promise of the title track squandered at the expense of selling a mythical rock opera!! One word to describe it... Pants!! Expand
  6. Somebody
    Dec 9, 2005
    4
    Meh. Green Day redefines what is known as "generic punk-pop." I have been trying to hear a song on this CD with "mature lyrics," but all I manage to hear is Green Day.
  7. [Anonymous]]
    Jul 2, 2005
    5
    Disappointing. Period.
  8. BangoSkank
    May 21, 2005
    5
    I heard about this album from a lot of people so I decided to give it a go. Now ive never really been too much of a fan of greenday, but when i heard all the hype swarming this album I was excited. But...once again hype has let me down. The music in this album, claiming to be a "rock opera", is bland and repetitive. I have no idea how anyone could ever listen to this album more than I heard about this album from a lot of people so I decided to give it a go. Now ive never really been too much of a fan of greenday, but when i heard all the hype swarming this album I was excited. But...once again hype has let me down. The music in this album, claiming to be a "rock opera", is bland and repetitive. I have no idea how anyone could ever listen to this album more than twice, i got bored with the songs on the first go. Also I heard this album dealt with politics and other intriguing things, but again I was let down. This album has nothing to do with politics or anything important for that matter. It's just a bunch of nonsensical drivel piled together. The reason im giving this album a 5 and not a 0 is because although i was bored with the songs, some of the guitar is at least somewhat memorable but other than that this album has no substance. (Oh yeah, and anyone who says that Billy Joe, or whatever, is hot...hes in his 30s and the only reason he "looks" hot is because he uses a LOT of makeup) Expand
  9. ChrisL
    Feb 13, 2005
    4
    This lot are solely responsible for so many shit bands like Good Charlotte.This is such a pointless predictable mainstream album.Nobody should bother making or listening to retro shit like this anymore,guitar music is dead.There is nothing new under the sun.Thank God for electronica.
  10. DominicS
    Sep 30, 2004
    4
    Don't get me wrong - it's a good, solid album. But there is no way that it lives up to the extensive hype it's being given. Especially given their political views - I just feel that this album is getting excess acclaim because it is _fashionable_ to be anti-imperialist these days. If you don't consider the political message, they just aren't making good music on Don't get me wrong - it's a good, solid album. But there is no way that it lives up to the extensive hype it's being given. Especially given their political views - I just feel that this album is getting excess acclaim because it is _fashionable_ to be anti-imperialist these days. If you don't consider the political message, they just aren't making good music on this album. Expand
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. It is exactly what the band needs to boost itself to the next level of pop-punk prowess.
  2. There's still plenty of spunk in to be found in this Sgt. Pepper-lite.
  3. 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.