A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
It's been four years since the last Green Day album, and the long-awaited AMERICAN IDIOT turns out to be an elaborate punk rock concept album, blazing through new musical territory. The world's most popular punk band takes some real musical risks that mostly work. Musically, the songs reflect a variety of rock influences, from the Beatles to Pink Floyd to the Foo Fighters. Power ballads, Indian strings, and even a bit of pop sentiment combine with the band's classic punk sensibilities to deliver a complex and interesting album with a clear narrative flow. Many kids will relate to the frenetic pathos of "Tales of Another Broken Home" and "I Don't Care."
Is it any good?
The writing on American Idiot is vivid and compelling, if not always squeaky clean. Most literate, smart teenagers have heard far worse and will have no problem with the lyrics. The musicianship is both powerful and poignant; the singing is terrific. The album contains some disturbing, but articulate, images; but the music makes it worth talking through the hard stuff with mature teenagers.