Looking Back on Some Hilariously Overwrought Things Written About American Idiot


This year marks the 10th anniversary for one of the weirdest moments in recent pop music history. Green Day somehow released one of the most critically acclaimed rock operas of all time. They were an entity primarily known for a series of respectable snot-punk slammers throughout the ’90s, and then they were decorated poet laureates, winning trophies and inspiring hilariously overwrought write-ups.

American Idiot has not retained its resounding importance, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is no longer getting remote adult-contemporary spins, and you have to imagine a lot of music writers might regret some of the breathless words they spent praising an album that turned out to be a momentary fad. But honestly, that’s worth celebrating. American Idiot‘s lasting legacy will be that, for a few months, everyone really really cared about American Idiot. Seriously, people wrote some crazy things about this album. So crazy, that we’ve created a little quiz. In the following questions you will see four hypothetical quotes from reviews for the seventh Green Day album. Only one of them will be real. Can you figure out which one is which? Let’s find out!

See also: Green Day – Barclays Center – 4/7/13

1. A – “Reducing the album to its influences gives the inaccurate impression that this is no more than a patchwork quilt of familiar sounds, when it’s an idiosyncratic, visionary work in its own right. First of all, part of Green Day’s appeal is how they have personalized the sounds of the past, making time-honored guitar rock traditions seem fresh, even vital. In its musical muscle and sweeping, politically charged narrative, it’s something of a masterpiece.”

B – “Green Day have truly defeated their demons. American Idiot is a transformative artifact. Something that will be hailed for generations to come as a defining work of art about life and loss in the 21st century.”

C – “I never thought a punk album could make me cry. Thank you, Green Day.”

D – “It moves me in the stadium and in the headphones. I feel it in both my heart and my bones. American Idiot is proof that old dogs can learn new tricks. Finally punk’s Dark Side of the Moon has arrived.”

OK that was an easy one.

2. A – “Life and death, sunrise and sunsets, this is not an album of mere everyday fabric. This is the music of our lives.”

B – “Forget The Clash, American Idiot has more in common with John Keats.”

C – “You will emerge from your experience with American Idiot physically tired, emotionally drained, and, quite possibly, changed forever. It is less an album than an experience that demands to be lived. It is a part of my life now, as well as the most satisfying hour of music I’ve ever heard. Nothing else even comes close. In short, American Idiot is flawless. There’s not a weak song, a dull moment, or even the vaguest sign that Green Day’s best days are over. Your jaw will be on the floor from the first chord to the last. As you can see, I am passionate about this record’s brilliance and I am honored to give it my highest possible recommendation. So don’t just stand by and watch as this album sets the world on fire. Buy it immediately and see how great music can be.”

D – “This is an album for a new generation, a new soul. We are no longer content to pledge our allegiance to the flag. Billy Joe Armstrong has shown us a new way to be human, and a new way to be an American.”

I shit you not.

3. A. – “Drummer Tre Cool has a surprisingly strong singing voice.”

B – “‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams'” seems to ooze romanticism, but think again! This teasing song expresses angst against a false sense of democracy.”

C – “It will surely join the ranks of London Calling and Nevermind with it’s all-time iconic album art.”

D – “At a certain point you wonder if perhaps Billie Joe Armstrong himself should consider running for office.”

Yes, nothing oozes romanticism quite like “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

4. A – “Good Charlotte, you better be taking notes.”

B – “That’s right folks, Augustana are no longer the most ambitious band in punk rock.”

C – “It’s time for Avril Lavigne to step her game up.”

D – “Whatsername” might be the most romantic pop-punk song this side of Hoobastank.

Good Charlotte did not, in fact, take notes.

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