Friday, September 24, 2004

American Idiot

Listening to the new Green Day CD, American Idiot. I've been waiting (im)patiently for this for weeks, ever since the title single gave me a reason to listen to the radio again. David Letterman the other night said that Green Day was "singlehandedly keeping rock 'n' roll alive." (They were very impressive on the show, by the way, as was their opener, a guy named John Kerry.)

Simply put, the CD kicks A-Asterisk-Asterisk. It's hard to describe how good it is without using profanity, but let's just say these last few days I LIVE to listen to this album. I eat, drink, and sleep only so that my ears and brain will have the energy to absorb American Idiot. It's given me hope for the Future of the Universe (or at least hope for my own powers of overstatement). I hate when it's over.

It's supposed to be a rock opera, but the songs stand well on their own. The best songs are the
title single, "Jesus of Suburbia," "Holiday," "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," and--and--and arrrgh! every song on this CD is utterly crankable, sing-alongable, pound-your-fist-in-the-airable. Early polls of my brain cells indicate "Holiday" as the favorite.

I don't think a song has captured the national mood (or at least the Mood of People Who Live in My House) as well as "American Idiot"--not since "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (and geez, looking back, why were we so angry in 1991? Well, yeah, there was the fact that no jobs waited for us after college and we were waging Part I of the War for Oil, but it was a freakin' tea party compared to the neo-fascism we're facing now, and it's about time popular music started reflecting our mad-as-hell-ness).

Anyway, click here to listen to a fun remix of the tune interspliced with sound bites from Bush sounding, well, idiotic.

American Idiot. Buy it. Play it obnoxiously loud in your car with the windows down. Grow young again. Then go out and kick some A-Asterisk-Asterisk of your own.

"I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives"


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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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