Sound — 9
Greed Day's new album "21st Century Breakdown" comes 5 years after their previous album "American Idiot", which was a great success. And this album is undoubtedly another success. The sound of the album is great. It has Green Day's signature Punk-rock-opera style. But that doesn't mean it's the same boring recycled stuff of previous albums. While maintiaing their signature style, the album shows more depth of music that their previous albums. Most of the songs are politically charged (as expected). As you probably already know, the album is rock opera style and is divided into three acts and it basically follows the narritive of a young couple (Gloria and Christian). So, I will not get into that. Most of the songs are good, but a few songs are absolutely brilliant. Specially "21 Guns", "21st Century Breakdown" and "Know your Enemy" are great songs. "Know Your Enemy" has that classic punk sound that gets your blood boiling. "21 Guns" is just beautiful to listen to. It has a beautiful chord progression (Dm A# F C...and in chorus F C Dm C A# F C). The guitar work through out the album is not too difficult, but great to listen too. Most of the songs are played with power chords. It may be simple, but sounds great.
Lyrics — 9
As always, the lyrics of the song are political. The lyrics reflect the feeling of modern society. The impressive thing is that lyrics through out the album links together to tell the story of Christian and Gloria. That's cool. I specially like the words of "21 Guns". It has lovely lines like "Do you know what we're fighting for, when it's not worth dying for..". Not all the songs have great lyrics though. The starting verses of "Know Your Enemy" is weak. "Do you know your enemy....Well gotta know your enemy" isn't really great words. Armstrong's vocals were absolutely great. You could tell from his voice that some of the songs were personal to him.
Overall Impression — 9
This is one of Green Day's best albums. It's right up there with "American Idiot". It's impressive that they managed to maintian high quality of music over the years (unlike U2's latest album). My favorite song of the album is "21 Guns". But almost all the songs are good. I love the simple power chord guitars and the beautiful lyrics of the album. I would definitely buy this album again if it were lost/stolen.