‘American Idiot’ Album Reaction


Carolyn Martin

Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ turned 15 on September 20.

Carolyn Martin, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

“American Idiot” was the first album I heard when, after just the first note, I knew this was something different; something important. The music, the story line and characters (as this is a concept album) all became important. Not many albums have been able to do that for me.

As I’ve continued to grow up and discovered different music, I’ve grown in and out of Green Day. But even if I don’t always want to admit it, this album made an impact on me. And as I look at the track list, I don’t think there’s a single underrated track on here.

“American Idiot:” Who doesn’t love a title track? Maybe me. Honestly I’m kind of tired of it. I’ve heard it so much that I’ve fallen out of love with it. I remembering loving it when I was first getting into Green Day; I remember listening to the cover 5 Seconds of Summer did. Who knows, maybe I’ll fall in love with it again soon.

“Jesus of Suburbia:” Definitely a favorite track of mine. However, parts one and three are probably my all time favorites. And the video? It’s such an aesthetic to me. And even though the song goes on for nine minutes it never gets played out or boring to me.

“Holiday:” I remember playing this song all the time when I first got into Green Day. It was probably one of my favorites at the time. Now that some years have gone by I don’t play it as often but I still think it’s a great song.

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams:” This song has been with me for a while, I just didn’t always know it. I remember hearing this on the radio (when I assume it was fairly new) as a child. I knew of the song and I knew of Green Day, but I wasn’t a fan by any means. I didn’t come back to this song until I was older. It’s funny how it came full circle like that.

“We are the Waiting:” One of Green Day’s slower songs from their discography and I think this song is so pretty. It’s always had night driving energy about it, and that’s probably because every time I hear Billie Joe Armstrong (singer, guitar) sing “city lights coming down over me,” I am transported to driving on the highway at night (and for once most of the street lights are on!)

“St. Jimmy:” The transition between “We Are the Waiting” & “St. Jimmy” is probably one of the best transitions of all time. But “St. Jimmy” specifically is a high-energy and fast paced song. I am so happy that they played this song (right after “We Are the Waitng”) when I saw them on tour back in 2017.

“Give Me Novocaine”: Okay y’all here me out, the intro sounds like “Sugar We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy. I don’t play it too often, but I do play it enough, so don’t think I have forgotten about it. Even in saying that, it is probably my favorite song to sing along to.

“She’s a Rebel:” This one is fun. It’s pretty short but it’s still a great listen. It can always put me in a good mood.

“Extraordinary Girl:” This song, I used to play every so often. In the last year or so, I’ve played it a lot more. It’s helped me heal from certain things; certain people. I’m grateful for that. I appreciate the instrumentation on it too; it’s nothing like Green Day, or really any of the bands I listen to have done before.

“Letterbomb:” Arguably my favorite song off the album. I love it for how blunt the beginning is “where have all the riots gone?” and how the ending plays out “I’m leaving you tonight”. But I definitely love the ending more. It’s a great song to jump around your room to and get your frustrations out with.

“Wake Me Up When September Ends:” If y’all say to wake up Billie Joe Armstrong I swear I’ll-. No seriously, I don’t find that joke funny at all, since the song is about how Armstrong lost his dad to cancer in September. I like to believe it’s because I’ve lost two people within the last two years, both in September. One was my aunt, and I miss her terribly. The other was a woman I volunteered with, who was probably one of the kindest people I’ll ever meet. I play this song a lot during September since I miss them both more closer to the time I lost them. So I think I just hate how people push the real meaning of the song aside to share a post telling everyone to wake Billie Joe Armstrong up.

“Homecoming:” This one mimics the nine-minute run time that “Jesus of Suburbia” has and it’s done well. One song that is nine minutes long is bold enough, but having two creates a “book end” effect in my opinion.

The same bold and brash statements made at the beginning of the album as the characters set off are seen again as they trek back home.

“Whatsername:” Okay y’all gotta hear me out one more time. The beginning of “Whatsername” sounds similar to the beginning of “Summertime” by My Chemical Romance. I always think about showing my friend that and her freaking out. It’s a nice memory to have.

While this album may not always be one of my favorites, it has introduced me to some of my favorite songs today, and for that I will be forever grateful.