I wasn’t going to say anything when I first saw this, because it didn’t seem like a battle even worth fighting, but Dylan is dead right–the only way in which American Idiot exemplifies the Bush years is to the extent that both sucked. Hard. The title track is decent, but that’s only because Armstrong is ripping off Bad Religion, except without the intelligence, vocabulary, or, um, punk.
Dylan’s list, of course, is much better. I almost hate to quibble with it, because his taste in music is superior to anyone’s, and so I’m outmatched like Tenacious D challenging Satan to a rockoff. But I still don’t get what the big fucking deal about Lil Wayne is, and I think there were a few albums that were written specifically in reaction to the Bush era that deserve nods.
Reinventing Axl Rose, Against Me!
Neon Bible, Arcade Fire*
The Empire Strikes First, Bad Religion*
New Amerykah, Part One (4th World War), Erykah Badu
Hail to the Thief, Radiohead**
Rising Down, The Roots***
The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!, Saul Williams
The Body, The Blood, The Machine, The Thermals
*I know no one cares about late-era Bad Religion but me, but this is one of the first albums I ever really fell in love with, and it’s my list, so shut up.
**Not really anyone’s favorite Radiohead album, but certainly their most unnerving and politically motivated work.
***Yes, if you put Dylan’s list together with mine, The Roots get two albums. Because they’re awesome.