Wake Me Up When September Ends
Led by the killer title track, American Idiot finds Green Day sounding as vital as ever. Told through the character "Jesus of Suburbia," the concept album, released just prior to the 2004 presidential election, is nourished by the trio's vitriol over America's political climate and overall malaise. Rock-opera riffs complement instantly gratifying pop hooks that extend well beyond the band's punk roots. Even when they slow it down they still pack a punch. The album won a Grammy for Best Rock Album and reignited the band's flagging career all while spreading its message far and wide.