Sunday, June 06, 2010

Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Green Day: American Idiot

Green Day are, for the moment, the biggest American band in the world.

I have always been suspicious of their all-to-digestible form of punk. In spite of - or possibly because of - their mall punk aesthetic, they come off as upwardly mobile careerists, too business savvy for their own good, and at heart a little too careful and implicitly conservative.

Punk music is unskilled, out-of-control, and inarticulate. A frustrated lashing out without purpose or reason.

The Ramones elevated adolescent stupidity, The Sex Pistols deconstructed show-biz, and The Clash wanted to up-end the status quo. Green Day seemed to understand this on Dookie, but in the years since they have damned themselves through hard work and focus. You don't get to Broadway by being anything but smart, starstruck, and steadfastly middlebrow.