Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
On “Wake Me Up When September Ends” lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong recalls losing his dad at age 10. It moves from grief to acceptance to fond memories.
The rest of this disc reeks of hopelessness, often raging against the status quo. Targets include government leaders on “American Idiot” and “Holiday” (a depiction of our President as a bomb-happy dictator). Christianity gets maligned by “Jesus of Suburbia,” which complains of lost faith, brands religious leaders hypocrites, and scoffs at sin and salvation. It also wallows in nihilistic lostness. Angry f- and s-words punctuate Green Day’s diatribes. On “St. Jimmy,” a frustrated youth calls himself “a teenage assassin” before making a violent threat. References to drug use include “a little bag of dope” (“St. Jimmy”) as well as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and “doing someone else’s cocaine” (“Jesus of Suburbia”). “Homecoming” describes a suicide (“Jimmy died today/He blew his brains out in the bay”).
American Idiot serves up the honest cynicism, angst and wry self-deprecation fans have come to expect, this time as a concept album. Without meaning to, its belligerent opposition to Christian faith helps to explain the band’s futility and emptiness. But that’s nowhere near reason enough for teens to tune in.