Local Wire

Green Day

It seems fitting that Green Day's latest album is titled American Idiot. After all, the band made its name -- not to mention its millions -- being as much. Self-deprecation aside, however, with Idiot, Green Day has somehow managed to pour syrup on yesterday's Dookie and, incredibly, turned it into pancakes. A formidable effort, the album comprises a series of vignettes loosely sewn together by the disillusionment of a trio of miscreants, namely Jesus of Suburbia, St. Jimmy and Whatsername. A rock opera? Yeah, some have called it that -- though that's probably a bit generous. Idiot really reads more like an extended metaphor. Nevertheless, musically, Green Day has delivered its most compelling and diverse work to date. So while Billie Joe and company may indeed be idiots, they can now safely add the word "savant" to that title.