Reprise - 2004 - 57 minutes

No one could normally get away with lumping Green Day's cheek, Rage Against the Machine's rants and The Who's sense of the spectacular together in the same sentence. But, bizarrely, 'American Idiot'  - the trio's rock opera comment on modern-day America - is the only time you can reference the three bands without feeling like you've lost touch with the youth of today completely.

The three-chord stomps remain intact and here they're in the company of two epic, multi-episode, nine-minute songs that, depending on your opinion of Green Day, are either career milestones or epic losses of the plot. There are also grittier lyrics like "welcome to the new kind of tension, all across the alien nation" and "another protester has crossed the line to find the money on the other side".

But while the trio sound - only at times mind - angrier than usual, no amount of ambition or style changes can hide the fact that Green Day have written better songs than those on offer here. For an album that runs to nearly an hour, there are few memorable moments and for a band whose appeal has been in getting to the point as speedily and singalong as possible, 'American Idiot' is a slog to get through.

More tantrum than triumph.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: American Idiot - Jesus of Suburbia - City of the Damned - I Don't Care - Dearly Beloved - Tales of Another Broken Home - Holiday - Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Are We Waiting - St Jimmy - Give Me Novacaine - She's a Rebel - Extraordinary Girl - Letterbomb - Wake Me Up When September End - The Death of St. Jimmy - East 12th St. - Nobody Likes You - Rock and Roll Girlfriend - We're Coming Home Again - Whatsername