This 2004 "punk rock opera" reminds me a lot of The Who's Quadrophenia (my favorite Who album, to be covered at a later date). Themes of adolescent disillusionment abound, tied closely with the cultural and political events of the time. Those of you old enough to remember, this is the record Green Day had to re-write after the master tapes for the album they had essentially already finished were stolen. In a funny twist of fate, the theft seemed to work in their favor as American Idiot went on to sell millions of copies, not to mention being loved by critics all over. We will never know how the original record would have been received.
Since this is a rock opera, it is meant to be listened to from beginning to end, in order, so that one can understand the story. Cherry-picking tracks seems like the wrong thing to do, but I will do it nonetheless. I really like 'Are We The Waiting' and 'St. Jimmy' (usually played, and listed, together) to start out with. Next give 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' and the title track, 'American Idiot,' a spin. Close out with the 9 minute monster that is 'Jesus of Suburbia.'