Toronto Mike

Dissecting Jesus of Suburbia


It looks as if Green Day's "Jesus of Suburbia", the second track from their 2004 American Idiot release, will appear on SLS14.  At 9:08 it will be the longest song in the history of SLS.

It's an epic with several twists and turns.  In the spirit of Meatloaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" it's many songs in one.  Let's dissect "Jesus of Suburbia" in the hopes that we can learn more about this intriguing specimen.

0:00 - 1:51
This is the first song within the song, almost two minutes of a nice little Green Day ditty.  Religious connotations abound, the son of rage and love shares his sins and while noting that no one ever died for his sins in hell.  This is part one of "Jesus of Suburbia".

1:51 - 3:41
Still poppy and catchy as hell, things slow down a bit for part two of "Jesus of Suburbia".  This part actually reminds me of Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69"...."Those were the best days of my life!".  This part is all about the city of the damned, "lost children with dirty faces".

3:41 - 5:20
Things speed up for part three of "Jesus of Suburbia", perhaps my favourite part of all.  It's the punkiest part and full of apathy.  "I don't care" is echoed throughout bookending a rant that kicks off with the brilliant observation "everyone is so full of shit, born and raised by hypocrites".

5:20 - 6:30
There's little wonder I haven't got bored of this song, even though I've been hearing it for a year.  5:20 into it we start our fourth song in the epic, and it's another great tune.  Slow, sweet as hell and almost Beach Boys like with the soft "oooh"ing and that bell.  "Are we demented or am I disturbed? The space that's in between insane and insecure."  The protagonist has shared his story and now asks this immortal question.

6:30 - 9:08
You could extract this final 2:38 and release it as a stand-alone single.  Hell, with a little stretching "Jesus of Suburbia" could easily be five solid singles.  In this final chapter, the protagonist leaves behind this hurricane of fucking lies and runs away.  It's worth noting that even during this final 2:38 there's a dramatic pace change at the 8:25 mark where everything slows way down for us to hear the what's been decided.  "I don't feel any shame, I won't apologize, When there ain't nowhere you can go, Running away from pain, When you've been victimized, Tales from another broken home".

This tune is a lot like the weather in Ireland.  If you stumble upon "Jesus of Suburbia" on CFNY Edge 102 or your local Green Day station and you don't like what you hear, wait a bit.  It will change.

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