Green Day

American Idiot [The Original Broadway Cast Recording]

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Unlike most albums adapted from rock Broadway musicals, American Idiot isn’t a jukebox musical, it’s a genuine rock opera based on Green Day’s modern-day 2004 classic and its 2009 sequel, 21st Century Breakdown, and that’s not the only way it differs, either. Unique among rock musicals, the original cast recording actually feels like rock & roll, no doubt because Green Day functioned as the house band for this original cast recording, lending muscle so heavy it’s disarming, particularly when it’s paired with the cast’s ready-for-the-stage vocals. Inevitably, there’s a disconnect between the stage-seasoned singers and Green Day’s persistent growl, but it actually makes for a convincing translation from album to stage, at least as far as the record goes: the drama and themes are pumped up without losing the subversive spirit…if anything, it could be argued that the subversiveness has been increased, since there’s never been a Broadway cast album that sounds as nasty as this.

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