Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown

Album review by JD Alvarez   


Billy, Mike and Tre have come a long way since Dookie. The boys took their time with this album, and the results are evident. Notwithstanding their very successful side-project Foxboro Hot Tubs,  21st Century Breakdown is the “30-something” year olds eighth studio album, and follow up to their 2004 Grammy Award Winning Punk Rock Opera  american idiot. In today’s MP3, i-tunes, Napster, Lime Wire obsessed new world order of music media, let’s give Green Day their due. They remain artists that have CD sales that don’t fall short and have staying power.



Although some tunes may seem a departure from their previous work, the songs remain distinctively Green Day. They are simply the result of the next evolution in their growth as artists. Like My Chemical Romance’ {The Black Parade}, this album is a Punk Rock Opera like no other. The story is broken down into three acts, they are: Heroes and Cons, Charlatans and Saints, and Horseshoes and Handgrenades. The acts chronicle the story of two main characters, Christian and Gloria. Obviously Christian is the rebel, and Gloria is an idealist hoping for a better day. The story very much carries teen themes of alienation, fear, death, mistrust of authority and religion, although it does fall short on direct overtone and condemnation.


This album captures the angst that their generation encompasses. Reminiscent of american idiot, 21st Century Breakdown makes you think. Its political overtones can draw comparisons to artists such as The WHO, Sex Pistols, Bob Dylan and The CLASH. All bands that became the voice of their generation.


Currently “Know Your Enemy” is the first single off the album. This single was released on April 16th, 2009; the music video premiered internationally on April 24th, 2009 on the Mtv UK website. Now making the rounds on the Alternative and Indy charts is  “21 Guns”. The anticipated next tune to blow up for the guys will be “The Static Age.”  21st Century Breakdown is the first major collaboration with producer Butch Vig. Although Vig had minor production contributions in other Green Day projects such as Dookie. Vig has also worked with other notable artists such as Garbage, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins.  Give credit where it’s due, Green Day gets a thumbs up on this album. No matter how successful the boys get, they seem to keep their pulse on the hearts, minds and emotions of the youth they call their fans! Tell that to!  With or without WAL-MARTs’ support, I think this album will do ok!


Green Day features Billy Joe Armstrong as their lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, Mike Dirnt on guitar and Tre Cool on drums.

The 21st Century Breakdown WORLD TOUR begins in 2009 and will run through 2010 supporting the album.



Released          May 15th, 2009          

Recorded         2008-2009, at:                                                                                                                                    Ocean Way Recording           Studio 880                                                                               Hollywood, California    and         Oakland, California
Genre               Alternative, Punk Rock, Pop Punk
Length                         74:41    Label: Reprise
Producer          Butch Vig and Green Day

Green Day21st Century Breakdown – Track Listing                                              

1. Song of the Century

Act I Heroes and Cons

2.  21st Century Breakdown
3.  Know Your Enemy
4.  ¡Viva la Gloria!
5.  Before the Lobotomy
6.  Christian’s Inferno
7.  Last Night on Earth

Act II Charlatans and Saints

8.  East Jesus Nowhere
9.  Peacemaker
10. Last of the American Girls
11. Murder City
12. ¿Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl)
13. Restless Heart Syndrome

Act III Horseshoes and Handgrenades

14. Horseshoes and Handgrenades                                                                                                     15. The Static Age
16. 21 Guns
17. American Eulogy
18. See the Light

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