That, essentially, is the crux of American Idiot, Green Day’s seventh studio album. Four years in the making, it’s the story of the alienated, de-motivated Average Joe living under Bush’s administration and the American media. ‘Where have all the riots gone?’ frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sings, ’…the television’s an obstructionist.’ As far as content is concerned then, the album’s political discontent is nothing new; topical, sure, and undoubtedly poetic, but not groundbreaking.
In terms of shape and form however, American Idiot takes an audacious leap from today’s pack of punk-poppers. It’s a narrative driven 'concept’ album framed by two nine-minute, five-part tracks. Rather like T.S. Eliot’s epic modernist poem The Waste Land, the album’s fragmentary, hazy story revolves around several enigmatic characters, held together by themes and images that recur throughout its thirteen songs. The tales of “Jesus of Suburbia”, “St. Jimmy” and “Whatsername” are loosely woven together, united by 'rage and love’.
— Richard Banks, BBC Music Review, 2004