American Idiot

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
American Idiot Music Poster Image
Punk rock opera actually rocks!
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 36 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 171 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive messages

Teen angst. Teen rebellion. Teen aspiration. Anti-establishment sentiments. All that and dreaming and hopes for the future.

Violence

A few disturbing images, one sad song about a suicide.

Sex
Language

Some four-letter words, used in literary context as well as some Jesus references that some might find offensive.

Consumerism

CD contains an insert for other products and cell phone accessories.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

A few references to drugs, drinking, and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are four-letter words and a few drug and alcohol references that make contextual sense in this long-awaited punk rock opera. Your mileage will vary, but there's nothing to worry about for most literate, sophisticated older teenagers.

User Reviews

Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written byCody Patterson MJO October 11, 2015

Worried about language.

I love Green Day, and this album is just fine for mature kids who are in middle school or older, but for kids younger than that I would just buy the non-profane... Continue reading
Adult Written bypizza31 April 7, 2011

A Conplete Masterpiece

Parents need to know that this is a wonderful masterpiece of an album that has somewhat complex themes and most of the subjects of the songs younger kids won... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byparamour March 31, 2011

The american suburbs in musical form

This album, though it has some language, is good. It describes what happens in a typical suburb that parents don't know about. So if you want to know whats... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 20, 2010

Great Band

This is my favorite Green Day album, and it talks about important stuff like the government. All kids in Junior High should be able to listen to this, and if yo... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why this album is referred to as a punk rock opera. What are some of the real-life issues that are dealt with? How do the different music styles contribute to the meaning of the songs?

Music details

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