Sometimes simply being fun isn't enough to keep a pop act interested. Take Green Day. The band shocked its own career back to life in 2004 with American Idiot, which twisted and inflated its economical pop-punk riffs into a sprawling, Voice Of A Generation statement. In 2009, the Bush era is over, but the grandiosity continues on Green Day's latest album, 21st Century Breakdown. Here's how American Idiot compares to some other notable attempts to get serious, all laden with vague philosophizing, misguided genre-dabbling, multipart suites, and liberal use of words like "world," "soul," "life" and "mind."
See how Green Day compares to other artists -- Huey Lewis & the News, the Beastie Boys, Chubby Checker and more -- who tried to make a "serious" record. (View Chart Here.)