Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown

May 29, 2009 at 12:01 am 1 comment

Ever since American Idiot came out in my freshman year of high school, I have been waiting for Green Day to release their latest album. Finally, toward the end of my freshman year in college, they came through. So the big question is, was it worth the wait?

That question is hard to answer. Yes, this album is incredible, but I think it could have been done in a shorter amount of time. I have some experience in production as well, so I can make that claim (sure I don’t have a lot of experience but I know some stuff). I’m sure the wait was due to the band, aging as they are, devoting more of their time to their families, and less of their time to the studio. That is respectable, but as a fan, I can’t help but be annoyed at the over four year turnaround.

I already said it, but I think this album is incredible. It is still Green Day, so if you’re not a fan, don’t expect to love it, but it is a more mature Green Day, both musically and lyrically. And that is saying something coming from their previous album.

For those who haven’t guessed, I really enjoyed American Idiot as well. I know a lot of Green Day fans didn’t, but I think it was one of their best (before you ask, no its NOT because of the singles, I sincerely like every song on that album. I’m tired of people disliking it because it was overplayed… But thats a post for another day).

21st Century Breakdown is another concept album, following in the style of American Idiot. This time, the story is a lot easier to follow, in my opinion (American Idiot almost reminded me of Fight Club with its weird character duplicities). Without giving away any of the story, it is basically a story of the romance between Christian and Gloria, and a whole slew of other events that get in the way. Its really good, if you take the time to listen to and understand the lyrics. It is definitely an album that should be listened to as a whole, although the individual songs are all good on their own.

Where the album really shines though is musically. Green Day covers a wide range of musical styles on the album without ever straying away from their distinct pop-punk vibe. The song ¿Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl) almost sounds like a Hebrew folksong at the beginning, while Horseshoes And Handgrenades sounds a lot like the Strokes. And of course, the first single, Know Your Enemy is one of the catchiest foot stomping songs on the radio right now. Every time I hear that song it gets stuck in my head for hours!

As much as I love this album, it does have its low points. The last two songs on the album have the same beginnings as the first two songs. This is a cool concept, but the first time I heard it, I actually turned it off because I thought the album was replaying. There are also a few songs that sound like they were groomed to be big radio hits. I know this is true for almost any commercial band out there, but I would have liked if they at least tried to hide it. I’m not saying they are bad songs because of it, but rather that they don’t necessarily fit in with the rest of the album. The songs in question are The Static Age and 21 Guns. I would put money on them being on the radio at some point. I think they are both really good songs, and deserve to be on the radio, but they are also a lot more formulaic than most of the other songs on the album.

So my verdict on the album: If you don’t totally hate Green Day, give it a shot. It really is a good album, and I will be listening to it for a long time to come. And with 17 full length songs (2 even reaching the 5 minute mark, impressive for a punk band) it has more bang for your buck than most albums out there. 8.5


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My name is Mac, and I’m a PC (and a Linux?) Popular does not mean subpar

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. mitcher6  |  May 29, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I gotta say, as someone who really hasn’t been much of a fan of Green Day (I really didn’t like American Idiot), I have really enjoyed listening to this cd. I’d have to agree with your review.


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