Rolling Stone - p.1863.5 stars out of 5
- "On AMERICAN IDIOT, the thirteen tracks segue together, expanding into piano balladry and acoustic country shuffle....Green Day have found a way to hit their thirties without either betraying their original spirit or falling on their faces."
Uncut - p.1193 stars out of 5
- "The Berkeley trio's upbeat poppy punk - equally indebted to The Kinks as The Ramones - shows no signs of fatigue, but has now been put to blatantly political use."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1064 stars out of 5
- "[I]n AMERICAN IDIOT, they've recorded what could be their masterpiece, a 13-song, hour-long set that's both ambitious and expertly original."
Green Day: Mike Dirnt (bass instrument); Tre Cool, Billie Joe Armstrong.
Personnel: Billie Joe, Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar); Tre Cool (vocals, drums); Kathleen Hanna, Mike Dirnt (vocals); Jason Freese (saxophone); Rob Cavallo (piano).
Audio Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge.
Recording information: 880 Studios, Oakland, CA; Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: Chris Bilheimer; Marina Chavez.
Rock opera and punk are usually two mutually exclusive musical styles. Then again, Green Day has never followed any rock rulebook, so it's not entirely surprising that the trio crafted a punk-rock opera that takes the Bush administration and its policies to task. It doesn't get any more pointed than a couplet from the frenetic title cut that states, "I'm not a part of a redneck agenda/Now everybody do the propaganda!"
Under the guidance of any other group of agitated punks, the results of such an undertaking could easily become didactic. But with creative spearhead Billie Joe Armstrong at the helm, AMERICAN IDIOT is melodically driven, with the kind of intellectual bent that allows for a pair of mini-operas, "Jesus of Suburbia" and "Homecoming." Trimmed with a light sprinkling of piano and a big guitar sound occasionally reminiscent of Mott the Hoople, the former skewers the hypocrisy that can pervade small-town life. The latter is equally effective, as clever time changes and sonic flourishes (glockenspiel, doo-wop harmonies, honking saxophone) serve as an intriguing counterpoint to the band's hook-laced riffs.