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American Idiot: The Original Cast Recording Featuring the Music of Green Day

<p>When punk meets musicals</p>
by Gelo Gonzales | Oct 21, 2010
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You aren’t a big fan of Phantom of the Opera or Wicked, and those kids from Glee are making you want to strangle yourself.

[firstpara] So Broadway musicals aren't really a dude's thing: Elaborate sets, flamboyant acting, characters bursting into song. Sounds like fluff, we know.

Enter American Idiot, a brand new rock and roll Broadway musical inspired by and featuring the music of Green Day.

Yes, Green Day of "Do you have the time/ to listen to me whine" fame.

Taking its cue from broadway cult classics such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Rent, the musical chronicles the different lives of struggling individuals in suburban America post 9/11.

Fueled by the angsty lyrics of the album of the same name, this not-so-kitsch musical puts an unconventional spin on the band’s original tracks.

Creators Michael Mayer and Billy Joe Armstrong explain that they created the musical because they found the album to be, “the most brutally humorous, honest, and eloquent responses to the post 9/11 world” that they have encountered.

The track “Jesus Of Suburbia” is basically a narrative of a man who finds himself lost in a city where he meets a girl called Whatsername. The track has a heavy drumbeat and a finely tuned melody that will have you thrashing around in your room like a drunken hooligan.

Lyrics are rich in content and speak about the numbing effect of drugs, emotional inadequacy and a bevy of other rebellious social undertakings. Listen to the track closely and we swear there’s a riff in there borrowed from Bryan Adam’s “Summer Of ‘69”.

The two-disc album features 22 songs including the bonus track “When It’s Time” performed by Green Day themselves. It also includes four songs from the 21st Century Breakdown album. The company’s rendition of tracks like “American Idiot” and “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” carry the vocal power and range of a choir of angels pumped with steroids.

The song “21 Guns” takes on a different meaning when it is sang the way it on this record. The vocal specs of each cast member accompanied with the orchestra musical styling packs an emotional punk-punch that would most likely sound even better live.

With musicals slowly inching their way into mainstream media, the musical American Idiot is a far cry from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Liza Minelli. It’s Broadway packaged in a tolerable, counterculture fashion with the angst-filled, angry and discontent youth in mind as its audience. So if you like your narratives synched to some rock and roll then this might just be the album you’ve been waiting for.

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