April 19, 2010 - Reprise
Despite what the haters may say, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with a punk band, especially one as big as Green Day, making a musical. They've got the funds, guts and chops, so more power to them. The only misstep Green Day made with the Original Broadway Cast Recording of American Idiot is this: messing with American Idiot. As advertised, the album features the cast of the just-opened Broadway show singing over Green Day's instrumentals, which in and of itself isn't a disaster; great songs are great songs, and the actors are chirpy and serviceable in a Glee kind of way. But forcing in songs from 21st Century Breakdown just muddies the narrative of the original; more Mamma Mia! than Tommy, the 22-track monster tries to cram too much story into too little space, and the result doesn't do justice to the source material. Onstage it may be a different story, but on disc it's more of a jumbled, if cleanly executed, curiosity. Again, Green Day's ambition should be applauded--but seeing as how they do have all those funds lying around, maybe next time they'll write some fresh material for the stage instead of plundering what they've already done.