Green Day
21st Century Breakdown


5.0
classic

Review

by MartinBigg USER (1 Reviews)
October 2nd, 2009 | 58 replies | 5,825 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Green Day's most ambitious album to date is here, but is it their best effort?

6 of 11 thought this review was well written

I should note that I originally wrote this review for my university's newspaper, so I had quite a strict word limit to work with. I am planning to hopefully write more extensive reviews for this site in the future.

Watching the journey that has been the evolution of Green Day has been a fascinating one. For a punk band renowned for juvenile jabs at profound topics such as masturbation, the band’s sudden rise to prominence as a result of 2004’s American Idiot was a sensational breakthrough.

The unthinkable had happened - Green Day was suddenly taken seriously and American Idiot achieved overwhelming success and mass critical acclaim, with front man Billie Joe becoming something of a spokesperson for the generation. After five long years, with American Idiot having sold over 12 million copies worldwide, it’s fair to say that Green Day’s eighth studio album 21st Century Breakdown has a lot to live up to, and has rapidly become one of 2009’s most eagerly anticipated albums. But can Green Day live up to these astronomical expectations or have these renegade rockers finally out stayed their welcome?

Like its predecessor, 21st Century is a hugely ambitious, conceptual rock opera, with an ever more prevalent classic rock influence. Comprising of a substantial 18 tracks admirably divided into three separate acts, the album follows a narrative featuring a leading pair of protagonists, Christian and Gloria, as depicted in the affectionate artwork, and their expeditions through the modern post-Bush world. The running plotline may be loose, but it provides a cohesive flow throughout the album, with outstanding production.

The opening title track for example is a multi-part epic which has been compared to the likes of Bohemian Rhapsody, easing you in with its soft acoustic guitars before launching into an exceptional, full blown anthem. Veteran fans will also be right at home with lead single Know Your Enemy, a repetitious but catchy romp, whereas tracks such as Murder City, Horseshoes and Handgrenades and East Jesus Nowhere, a scathing attack on contemporary religion, find Green Day at their most supercharged, pop punk angst best.

There are also many signs of experimentation, as Peacemaker delves into a decidedly Mexican theme, complete with an abundance of merciless “hey heys,” and the 2 part album highlight Viva La Gloria adopts a folk style premise, which harkens back to Misery from 2000’s Warning, before suitably picking up the pace. Some of the highlights however occur when the album slows things down, such as with Restless Heart Syndrome and 21 Guns, a gratifying and soothing standout that’s just a trifle reminiscent of their previous hit, Boulevard of Broken Dreams. It doesn’t work quite as well however with tracks such as the filler Last of the American Girls and Last Night on Earth, a dozing piano driven ballad revealing Christian and Gloria’s relationship. Nonetheless, these slower moments allow Billie Joe to truly shine, with his new found varied vocals.

21st Century Breakdown represents Green Day’s most solid and diverse effort yet, and, dare I say it, overtakes American Idiot in some aspects. It is a sublime package that demands to be heard as a whole, and is surely a strong contender for the album of the year. And yet it provokes the same question that arose with American Idiot – where exactly do they go from here?


user ratings (1940)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Dalton DuBois (1)
    Iron Sputnik Episode 1 – Green Day Soufflé...

    Michael B. (2.5)
    Three-part symphony of insanity proves to be a game of two halves....

    DrEpic4181 (2.5)
    21st century breakdown is one of the stupidest albums ever made...

    Nicksta101 (3)
    Green Day’s storied career may end on a low note after their latest offering in concept ...

  • Alexandra Caramelli (2.5)
    Another "punk rock opera" by Green Day laced with pianos and violins....

    Dylan S. (3)
    This is exactly what you would expect from Green Day post-American Idiot...

    quesoboy88 (2)
    Nice melodies, but horrible lyrics, storytelling, and singing make 21st Century Breakdown ...

    megalodon (4)
    I don't remember the last time Pop-Punk sounded so good....

  • Nosferatwo (3)
    Green Day tries to recycle the formula, but misses the mark....

    Pedro B. (4)
    Green Day's real maturity album surmounts its flaws through sheer force of character....

    Adam Downer STAFF (2)
    Fantastically, Gloriously, Epically average....

    Ali CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
    An album with plenty of flaws, but ultimately one that delivers....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Lambda
October 2nd 2009



2417 Comments


No comment.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2009



7328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You'll probably get flamed for this, but I thought it was a good review, especially for a first.

I don't hate this as much as most people here but for me it's nowhere near a 5. !Viva La Gloria! is brilliant though.

jagride
October 2nd 2009



2313 Comments


Stop reading mainstream music magazines and get your ears syringed, then go back and listen to this. 0/5

Mouth
October 2nd 2009



197 Comments


ha


pop punk

Society Sellout
October 2nd 2009



292 Comments


lol

shortone323
October 2nd 2009



883 Comments


This actually isn't that bad. But you don't describe the music at all and you dick ride the shit out the band. I won't neg, but work on that.

dylantheairplane
October 2nd 2009



2168 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

summary is a no

there's a lot of things wrong with this review. It reads like an AP Magazine article,making the band
seem like the best thing since sex

Roach
October 2nd 2009



2149 Comments


ah hell naw

Beauville88
October 2nd 2009



221 Comments


Masturbation is a profound topic?

PanasonicYouth
October 2nd 2009



7411 Comments


with front man Billie Joe becoming something of a spokesperson for the generation.


now... which generation are we talking about again? sure as hell isn't mine

fromtheinside
October 2nd 2009



18097 Comments


honestly this album is just average.
21 guns though is a righteously good song.

Digging: Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent's Manifolds

Mouth
October 2nd 2009



197 Comments


dont you guys miss the 90s


because i miss the 90s

PanasonicYouth
October 2nd 2009



7411 Comments


me too

LepreCon
October 2nd 2009



4002 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I miss the 80's more. It was the only decade I lived in that I can't remember much of.
Review was okay but this album smells of wee-wee

Digging: Overkill - White Devil Armory

MartinBigg
October 2nd 2009



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I should note that this review was written for my university's newspaper, so I had quite a strict word limit to work with. I am planning to hopefully write more extensive reviews for this site in the future.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 2nd 2009



8329 Comments


the length is fine here tbh. I am tired as fuck right now, but if no-one has offered any constructive critisism by tomorrow i'll come back and give you some. Will go to bed atm though.

YouAreMySilence
October 2nd 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

I hatee thiss.

MrxSelfxDestruct
October 2nd 2009



495 Comments


I've always hated Green Day, but this is just fucking embarrassing.

shortone323
October 2nd 2009



883 Comments


I don't know if you edited this or I actually read it this time, but this is actually a pretty good review. You probably focus on their history too much, but the only reason you're getting negged is the rating. You don't really do anything to justify it, other than saying it was better than American Idiot.

pizzamachine
October 2nd 2009



12571 Comments


5/5? Blasphemy!



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