20 January 2006

Bullet in a Bible

    I've got a bullet that's stuck in a Bible
      Curator at the Imperial War Museum in London

I got Green Day's Bullet in a Bible for Christmas. It's a two-disc set. One disc is a two-hour concert film, the other is the concert CD. I've seen a few reviews of this, and they tend to fall into two categories.

This review typifies the first category. The reviewer starts out by trashing American Idiot as "punk rock lip service" before going after Bullet in a Bible as proof of their sell-out status. It's the common complaint leveled at alternative artists when they find success or seek to expand the boundries of their musical style. Green Day did both and this reviewer could accept neither.

At the other end of the spectrum is this review. Everything the previous review saw as signs of Green Day's artistic demise this review sees as a sign of their greatness. The reviewer loved American Idiot which they found intelligent and ambitious. It's no surprise, then, that they loved Bullet in a Bible, ate it up actually.

I was not quite so ecstatic, myself. The performances on Bullet in a Bible are solid and will enjoy a steadily increasing play count on my iPod. The different segments between the performances on the DVD are standard concert-file fare. That's not a slam, mind you. There's a nice matter-of-fact honesty in their comments, particularly those of Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt (Tre Cool is more comic relief). Some of the bits might be a bit over-dramatic, like their visit to the Imperial War Museum, but on balance it's good stuff. The only other nit I could pick is Billie Joe's constant shouts of "ENGLAND!" and "HEY-YO" to the crowd, but then, the crowd was into it and that's why they were there.

In all, if you like Green Day and concert films, you'll like Bullet in a Bible. I like both, so I like this. Now if only someone would put out a DVD of their VH1 Storytellers appearance.

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