21st Century Breakdown review by Green Day

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  • Released: May 15, 2009
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.3 (828 votes)
Green Day: 21st Century Breakdown
0

Sound — 7
I've just listened to 21st Century Breakdown on MTV's streaming party. This album altogether doesn't seem as strong as their previous albums. There's some strong tracks on the album, but overall the album seems to be lacking something in my mind. The storyline isn't as clear as the storyline to American Idiot, and the style is yet another epic venture for Green Day. The quality of the mix is solid, however, and the irritating underpowered vocals that plagued the demos are no more. The more solid sounding songs seem to be the piano ballad songs rather than the power-punk songs. All and all, the album wasn't as disappointing as it could've been, but it wasn't as amazing as it could've been either.

Lyrics — 5
This is the weakest part of the album in my opinion. The lyrics seemed...just plain stupid at some points. 'Do you know the enemy? Do you know your enemy? Well, gotta know the enemy' One such example of dull, repetitive lyrics. 'I don't want to live in the modern world I don't want to live in the modern world I don't want to live in the modern world' That being another from the song American Eulogy. All in all, it seems like they're milking the politics a little more than I'd like. Billie Joe's vocals are as strong as ever, but his lyrics left a little to be desired.

Overall Impression — 7
All in all, 21st Century Breakdown is one of Green Day' weaker albums. There are some strong songs on the album, my favorites being Before The Lobotomy, East Jesus Nowhere, Restless Heart Syndrome, and Horseshoes and Handgrenades. I love the sound of most of the songs, especially the softer piano ballads, but the lyrics seemed extremely forced and weak to me. Hopefully Green Day will continue to put out amazing live shows to compensate. If it was lost, I probably wouldn't bother too much about it, especially if I still had those four songs.

372 comments sorted by best / new / date

    GreenDayVintage
    All things admitted, whether you like it or not (i pretty much enjoyed it), the it will stick with you for a while. plus, listen to it after a long time away and it makes things really nostalgic...
    wildchild6660
    AlexBarraclough wrote: i download the deluxe version on itunes and got 4 bonus tracks. 'A quick one whilst he's still away', 'Another state of mind', 'That's all right' and 'Like a rolling stone'. Are some of these covers or are they original GD songs?
    A quick one is by the who I think and Like a rolling stone is a bod dylan song. Gotta check it out
    deadstring_3000
    heyyy... i think something is very very common about "know your enemy" and "american idiot" .Also in "21 guns" and "boulevard of broken dreams"...very weird,huh...but it is still nice! green day still rocks for me!(i thought silverstein would replace them in my life,but no! haha) and yeah,something is also common with "american eulogy" and "homecming"/"jesus of suburbia"... well,i thing there are a lot of common stuff between "american idiot album" and "21st century breakdown album"...well that's all...
    Unskathed
    LP.Reissue wrote: [quotejust bought it, fan bloody tastic, just as good as anything else they have. green day are the greatest band on the planet by a wide margin, and before any pathetic metalhead calls me a pussy, I DON'T CARE! k thx by]
    btw...i hate metalheads xD[/quote] I'm sorry.
    guitargirlmolly
    I love it. 9.8/10. Great lyrics, great story, and relevant. Those who don't like it, quit yer bitchin. Green Day grew up, so what? Story line's a little iffy though, not as easy to follow as AI, which I kinda liked.
    JFRules
    Green day is ok if your 13. Seems all they want children to lisen to their music.
    FinalCon
    Shard Heilia wrote: laurr wrote: Shitty lyrics? What's wrong with a little repetition to get your line across to today's dulled society. Take a look at the majority of lyrics which have full meaning and are very nicely written. That's just it! You shouldn't have to bring society into a debate about music to justify it! It's supposed to be about the feelings conveyed by the music, the joy or sadness it can bring to people, and the amazing experience of playing it for people! If you're just writing music to drill your propaganda through 'today's dulled society', then quit.
    Great word choice. If you think about it, you could claim that anything that tries to deliver a message is propaganda though. This is not propaganda. This is Green Day's (probably mainly Billie Joe Armstrong's) view on how society is today, through Christian and Gloria's story.
    mattant250
    Msu_Man04 wrote: wildchild6660 wrote: JayLacelle wrote: Bair wrote: i like American Eulogy because we get to hear Mike sing for the first time that I know of he sang on homecoming... No he didn't. That was tre. He sang on some other song I can't remember on dookie I think Jesus Christ you people don't listen and don't just look stuff up. Mike sang "Homecoming: Nobody Likes You" and Tre sang "Homecoming: Rock 'N' Roll Girlfriend." Who ELSE wants to be enlightened?
    He also sang on Eminius Sleepus (off Dookie) and JAR (off international superhits!)
    Jau_Peacecraft
    "Green Day ventures into the world of rock operas with 21st Century Breakdown, a scrutinizing look at the post-Bush world.." Scrutinizing? Yeah, maybe if you shop @ hot topic & think that the voices in your head are other people. I'm sorry, but Green Day is not nearly as important as many others make them out to be, which sometimes borderlines on The Clash worship (this applies to Rancid too). The single is atrocious. To be fair to everyone who will disagree with me, though, I intend on listening to the album for the purpose of backing up my low score (which would be a .5, where .5 is only given simply because Green Day actually bothered to go into a recording studio, which helps keep people in the studio business employed in this turbulent economy & enables them to record better music from better bands without worrying about the bills. Thanks Green Day.) If you want something that actually scrutinizes the "post-Bush" world, pick up Bad Religion's "New Maps of Hell" & pat yourself on the back. The final step would be using google & your own imagination, or actually talking to real people offline & socially-interacting in discussions about music that bothers to be more than market-punk pandering nonsense that is summed up by 21st Century's Breakdown's album cover that uncleverly hints (with the grace of sledgehammer) at "legends" (I guess shooting heroin & playing shit music is still referred to as instant fame) sid & nancy. What's next, a bloody shotgun next to an out of tune guitar? fyi, sputnikmusic lies less; I'll go before someone bans my dissent from the UG attention span.
    USCENDONE BENE
    Lol, the guy who said that Horseshoes and Handgrenades was worthy of Dookie: No, just no. Very good song, but no.
    wildchild6660
    Msu_Man04 wrote: wildchild6660 wrote: JayLacelle wrote: Bair wrote: i like American Eulogy because we get to hear Mike sing for the first time that I know of he sang on homecoming... No he didn't. That was tre. He sang on some other song I can't remember on dookie I think Jesus Christ you people don't listen and don't just look stuff up. Mike sang "Homecoming: Nobody Likes You" and Tre sang "Homecoming: Rock 'N' Roll Girlfriend." Who ELSE wants to be enlightened?
    oops! sorry, completely forgot about that. My bad.
    fattypumbaa
    kgesme21 wrote: AlexBarraclough wrote: i download the deluxe version on itunes and got 4 bonus tracks. 'A quick one whilst he's still away', 'Another state of mind', 'That's all right' and 'Like a rolling stone'. Are some of these covers or are they original GD songs? They're all covers if I remember correctly. Also, amazing album! Will definitly be getting heavy rotation in my player.
    Really? you don't know? Dylan Elvis the Who. STop listening to Green Day ad go get a lesson on REAL Rock N Roll.
    wildchild6660
    I've listened to the album three times over and Ladt of the american girls is the best for me so far. Don't really like know your enemy mush. Too repetitive.
    hellfire21
    libertines4ever wrote: yep Horse shoes and Handgrenades really sounds like Main Offender by the Hives
    it does, but it also reminds me of the bridge section of "Prosthetic Head"
    Shard Heilia
    laurr wrote: Shitty lyrics? What's wrong with a little repetition to get your line across to today's dulled society. Take a look at the majority of lyrics which have full meaning and are very nicely written.
    That's just it! You shouldn't have to bring society into a debate about music to justify it! It's supposed to be about the feelings conveyed by the music, the joy or sadness it can bring to people, and the amazing experience of playing it for people! If you're just writing music to drill your propaganda through 'today's dulled society', then quit.
    emich
    While it might not be masterful or musically groundbreaking as Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins past works, 21st Century Breakdown does show an incredible amount of depth for Green Day. lollest statement ever
    laurr
    Shitty lyrics? What's wrong with a little repetition to get your line across to today's dulled society. Take a look at the majority of lyrics which have full meaning and are very nicely written.
    masterchief44
    libertines4ever wrote: yep Horse shoes and Handgrenades really sounds like Main Offender by the Hives
    Agreed. But I HATED the album the first time I listened to it. I don't know what the hell was wrong with me. I listened to it again, and this album is amazing.
    brad777no
    Msu_Man04 wrote: brad777no wrote: rouge_bass do you know anything about metal? your a dumb **** for saying alls metal is, is low e string and shredding solos. BTW a lot of metal bands use Drop C. Anyways metal has a lot more variety than this shitty band. The Human Abstract's Album Nocturne has great piano parts, great neoclassical root solos, diffetent types of vocals, clean harmonic accoustic fills and songs with also the "E string". You need to learn more about music before you say anything about metal. Some metal bands that you call "shredding" are actually using chord progressions and using neo classical techniques. I love punk but now lets compare them. Punk music is pretty much power chords. Metal is power chords, soloes and even more. Your thought on metal was very biased. Shredding takes a lot of thought into it. There are mindless shreds but a lot of them are thought out and made intricately. Stick to punk music when trying to flame on people who listen to metal. You make yourself sound like a dumb ass. Even if you tune down to drop D, Db, or C, it's still the ****ing E string. That's how we refer to it because that's what standard tuning is. Then again, 70% of metalheads wouldn't know what this "standard" tuning is. Some do, a lot probably don't. Metal isn't better just because it's "powerchords, soloes (which you spelled wrong, captain genius) and even more" compared to punk (or in this case pop-punk). It doesn't appeal to a lot of people. Punk doesn't appeal to a lot of people. You're sounding a lot like a dumbass, too, even though you do say some smart things.
    I was talking about the complexity of metal. My grammar and such probably isn't the best. Im from Louisiana. But I was mainly getting at the fact he was calling metal not complex and all similar. I just hate when people stereotype metal. Metal is deeper than people think. I also like punk which actually got me into metal but I listen to hardcore punk. My further point really was that people should have more deep thought into criticizing a entire genre. If I really wanted to I could go and explain all the different subgenres of metal that make it more than solos and the E string. And about the E string thing, I was trying to mimic him in his act of trying to flame somebody. It did seem very dickish but I was trying to also further point out his ignorance and lack of knowledge of the metal genre
    badfish2829
    JayLacelle wrote: Bair wrote: i like American Eulogy because we get to hear Mike sing for the first time that I know of he sang on homecoming...
    Wasn't that Tre that sang?
    iplayguitar666
    if you wanna hear a real "rock opera" or "concept album" listen to mastodons newest release. Green days rock operas are a joke, listening to the songs you wouldn't know there was a connection between them without them telling you there was... and its just the exact same chords theyve been playing for 20 years now. all their doing now is playing longer versions of songs that all have sounded the same, recycled garbage.
    Merlinbunny1
    Ruenis wrote: im just still wondering why the firsts albums of every band are the best ones...
    That's Not True
    RunawayKaren
    Stay Up Late wrote: Green Day is becoming one of those bands that idiots seem to think it's "cool" to hate.
    Becoming? They already became that when American Idiot came out.
    greendaymexico
    AlexBarraclough wrote: i download the deluxe version on itunes and got 4 bonus tracks. 'A quick one whilst he's still away', 'Another state of mind', 'That's all right' and 'Like a rolling stone'. Excuse me but if you bought this you got a digital booklet and the song's writers are listed. A Quick One While He's Away: The Who That's All Right: (made famous by) Elvis Presley Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan Another State Of Mind: Social Distortion
    jables1138
    btw, when I say 'generic punk' I'm trying to convey the point that in order for something to be punk, it can't sound generic. After re-reading my post, I figured out that I didn't really get the point that I was trying to make. Generic music does not equal punk.
    jables1138
    To the reviewer who wrote that 21 Guns was the best song on the album, I have to disagree. IMHO, it was worst song on the album. (The verses in Christians Inferno do give it a run for its money) Whenever I hear the chorus, it doesn't make me want to lay down my arms, but instead to put it to my head and fire. It just doesn't sound very Green Day-like. It also didn't feel like it had any emotion. It just sounded like generic punk. Really, so uninspired, dull, generic anti-gun songs are cool. I'm all for peace, but this song almost put me to sleep. (I do, however, agree with most of your review. I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Wasn't so much a fan of American Idiot, but this one felt kind of idk, right.)
    HFR
    Anarchy_Ant wrote: Zacky~Vengeance wrote: Brendan.Clace wrote: To the douche that says this is far better than Dookie: Fuck off, and go throw in your american idiot CD. Dookie IS Green Day. These guys have musically evolved into a pit of hell. This sucks, american idiot sucked and these guys need to return to their Dookie roots. LMAO someone a little stuck in the past? Gotta agree with the other guy, this is way better than dookie and way more INTELLIGENT... I hvn't heard green day sound this good in a long time Rofl, totally agree. Also, i'm pretty sure Green Day get to decide who Green Day are. They've evolved musically, which is awesome for a band to do, especially after being together for so long. Awesome album.
    Well yeah that true it would be realy pointless to listen to a band who's music sounds the same album through album
    brad777no
    koreanhitokori wrote: brad777no wrote: Purple_Tears156 wrote: this album is amazing, i know that it is vey different from their previous albums but what i like about it is that they aren't just singing about anything, they actually wrote their songs in a story form, just like American Idiot. the 3 different acts are all good in their own way. the 1st act is the new-ish green day, and 2nd act is like 'woah, where did that come from'? and the 3rd act is like 'punk all the way'. what i also like about this album is that if you are a green day fan then you can actually feel so much emotion in their songs. i play along to the majority of songs on this album on my guitar and whilst i am playing i feel so much emotion and i dont want to stop playing. i love green day and always will do. unfortunately i have never seen them live and probably never will but green day are in my heart forever. lmao wow you feel emotion while playing green day. thats gay. their music has no soul. Its pop punk. that statement was gay you wanna know music that has no soul? miley cyrus and jonas brothers end of discussion
    And I dont listen to that ****ing shit. I listen to real music like hardcore punk metal and the music thats not made by pussys. I hate Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. Lmao Journey kicks Green Days ass.
    uncleSam1
    RunawayKaren wrote: Stay Up Late wrote: Green Day is becoming one of those bands that idiots seem to think it's "cool" to hate. Becoming? They already became that when American Idiot came out.
    + 1
    koreanhitokori
    brad777no wrote: Purple_Tears156 wrote: this album is amazing, i know that it is vey different from their previous albums but what i like about it is that they aren't just singing about anything, they actually wrote their songs in a story form, just like American Idiot. the 3 different acts are all good in their own way. the 1st act is the new-ish green day, and 2nd act is like 'woah, where did that come from'? and the 3rd act is like 'punk all the way'. what i also like about this album is that if you are a green day fan then you can actually feel so much emotion in their songs. i play along to the majority of songs on this album on my guitar and whilst i am playing i feel so much emotion and i dont want to stop playing. i love green day and always will do. unfortunately i have never seen them live and probably never will but green day are in my heart forever. lmao wow you feel emotion while playing green day. thats gay. their music has no soul. Its pop punk.
    that statement was gay you wanna know music that has no soul? miley cyrus and jonas brothers end of discussion
    brad777no
    Purple_Tears156 wrote: this album is amazing, i know that it is vey different from their previous albums but what i like about it is that they aren't just singing about anything, they actually wrote their songs in a story form, just like American Idiot. the 3 different acts are all good in their own way. the 1st act is the new-ish green day, and 2nd act is like 'woah, where did that come from'? and the 3rd act is like 'punk all the way'. what i also like about this album is that if you are a green day fan then you can actually feel so much emotion in their songs. i play along to the majority of songs on this album on my guitar and whilst i am playing i feel so much emotion and i dont want to stop playing. i love green day and always will do. unfortunately i have never seen them live and probably never will but green day are in my heart forever.
    lmao wow you feel emotion while playing green day. thats gay. their music has no soul. Its pop punk.
    USCENDONE BENE
    ^ Im not saying it's not good enough to go on Dookie, just to clarify, just that it really wouldnt fit that era of Green Day songs, if anything it's closer to a Nimrod song than a Dookie song
    HFR
    I realy like this album I downloaded It from limewire a week before it came out and im still going to go buy it.. This album realy is better then American Idiot {In my opinion} but Green Days Best album for me was Dookie I hope they go back to that. I hpe this happens Before The Lobotomy{2nd single} 21 Guns{3rd single} Horseshoes And Handgranades {4th N final single}
    Purple_Tears156
    this album is amazing, i know that it is vey different from their previous albums but what i like about it is that they aren't just singing about anything, they actually wrote their songs in a story form, just like American Idiot. the 3 different acts are all good in their own way. the 1st act is the new-ish green day, and 2nd act is like 'woah, where did that come from'? and the 3rd act is like 'punk all the way'. what i also like about this album is that if you are a green day fan then you can actually feel so much emotion in their songs. i play along to the majority of songs on this album on my guitar and whilst i am playing i feel so much emotion and i dont want to stop playing. i love green day and always will do. unfortunately i have never seen them live and probably never will but green day are in my heart forever.
    Shard Heilia
    Shard Heilia wrote: lao123 wrote: Lol my review got is rated 1 star... I really should have waited a week or two before reviewing... Tell me about it. Never piss off rabid 12 year olds...
    Oh, you wrote a GOOD review? That's even funnier. NOBODY LIKES ANYBODY'S OPINION NOW.
    Anarchy_Ant
    Zacky~Vengeance wrote: Brendan.Clace wrote: To the douche that says this is far better than Dookie: Fuck off, and go throw in your american idiot CD. Dookie IS Green Day. These guys have musically evolved into a pit of hell. This sucks, american idiot sucked and these guys need to return to their Dookie roots. LMAO someone a little stuck in the past? Gotta agree with the other guy, this is way better than dookie and way more INTELLIGENT... I hvn't heard green day sound this good in a long time
    Rofl, totally agree. Also, i'm pretty sure Green Day get to decide who Green Day are. They've evolved musically, which is awesome for a band to do, especially after being together for so long. Awesome album.
    Shard Heilia
    lao123 wrote: Lol my review got is rated 1 star... I really should have waited a week or two before reviewing...
    Tell me about it. Never piss off rabid 12 year olds...
    randyaintdead82
    Unskathed wrote: LP.Reissue wrote: [quotejust bought it, fan bloody tastic, just as good as anything else they have. green day are the greatest band on the planet by a wide margin, and before any pathetic metalhead calls me a pussy, I DON'T CARE! k thx by] btw...i hate metalheads xD
    I'm sorry.[/quote] dont offend the ones with an open mind like me, i like this album, it seemed more dynamic than AI which seemed kinda bland
    lao123
    Lol my review got is rated 1 star... I really should have waited a week or two before reviewing...
    TheEsupremacy
    Meh, they lost me somewhere along their musical journey. This cd is ok, nothing ground breaking, but not terrible either.
    niel9802
    theres a typo on the first sentence of UG's review. they spell green day 'green da'
    Greendaypunkit
    Bair wrote: i like American Eulogy because we get to hear Mike sing for the first time that I know of
    no he's sung in Homecoming, in the 'Nobody Likes You' part.
    moonatblack
    Epic Fail.Went from real punk to wearing black eye liner and playing alternative.
    TJ1991
    Green Day have always been my favourite band, but this is just something else. Wow.
    Stay Up Late
    Green Day is becoming one of those bands that idiots seem to think it's "cool" to hate. So what if they changed their style? The basic roots of what they've always been playing is still there in this record. They're in their forties so you can't expect them to be writing the same stuff they wrote twenty years ago. They're growing up and so is the music. It's different but it doesn't mean it's not good. I have a feeling if American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown were put out under a different band name and the fact that it was Green Day was covered up, people would have no complaints.
    mattnicho
    uberphreak wrote: BTW, EVERYONE READ THIS: "you're" = contraction of the words "you are" "your" = possessive adjective for the noun "you" "there" = an adverb indicating a position or location "their" = possessive adjective in the singular referring to "his or her", and in the plural referring to "them" or "they" "they're" = contraction of the words "they are" FOR FUCK'S SAKE THIS IS GRAMMAR SCHOOL MATERIAL. PLEASE LEARN IT. /rant
    LEGEND!! xD