GREEN DAY > 21st Century Breakdown

Label: Reprise

Videos by American Songwriter

Green Day worked long and hard to come up with American Idiot, and they worked even longer on 21st Century Breakdown, creating an album that’s even more ambitious and complex – the audacity of American Idiot blended with the new musical directions the band pursued on the unjustly overlooked Warning.
The record is a “concept album” in the sense that there’s a vague storyline – or perhaps more accurately the outline of a story – centered around two disaffected young people, the idealistic Gloria and the burning-with-anger Christian. But it’s the overall feel of the work that’s more important than plot; the songs fit together so well, it’s a shame they’ll be sliced and diced for singles. You’ll find practically the whole history of rock here, as Green Day drops their myriad influences – pop, glam, punk – into a blender and turns out tasty treats leavened by the lyrical bite (case in point: the klezmer-infused “Peacemaker” will have you whirling around the room in a frenzy before you notice the positively sinister lyrics). Green Day takes on symbols of authority both old (politics, religion) and new (the media, medications), and if they offer no ready solutions, they do make the case that it’s worth raging to preserve one’s humanity.


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