Here’s an album I’ve been listening to non-stop for the past few days. A lot of you probably won’t care about this but this blog is about writing what I want and what interests me. So here’s a review of 21st Century Breakdown by Green Day. This is the bands 8th studio album produced by Butch Vig, the producer of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and The Smashing Pumpkins. I’m gonna go through it track by track giving my own personal opinion of each one. If you think differently from what I’ve said about the tracks or the album, leave a comment 😉
- Song Of The Century – Something that sound like an old radio broadcast… A cool little intro the album to set the mood for what’s ahead.
- 21st Century Breakdown – A really cool opening track. Instantly you know this isn’t another repeat of American Idiot. It opens with a piano and then slides into heavy power chords. Halfway through, the song breaks down with a riff that resembles an Irish Jig, with chant-like singing and the drums go into double time. The track ends with a really cool guitar solo which is very Queen-like with Brian May style guitar.
- Know Your Enemy – Possibly the weakest song on the album but still a pretty cool song. A great guitar riff and heavy drums and a chant that sticks in your head. This song makes a lot more sense when you hear it on the album.
- ¡Viva la Gloria! – This, I feel, is where the stories begin. A very pretty beginning to it on piano as Billie sings about Gloria, the album’s star. About a minute in the piano comes to an end, you hear the high-hat and the song speeds up with great vocals chanting “Gloria, viva la Gloria!”. One of my favourite tracks.
- Before the Lobotomy – This track is an odd track for me. It has a darker feel at the start with the acoustic picking and Billie’s singing. Then a heavy guitar riff and drums enter at about 1:20. The song’s mood picks up, this is where it sounds a bit like Homecoming. A great song with an awesome chorus and towards the end, the mood gets darker again with a heavy guitar riff and deep lyrics.
- Christian’s Inferno – Possibly the “angriest” track on this album with a heavy bass riff in the verse and an uplifting chorus. This song is to represent our second character on the album, Christian. I think this track shows us what kind of a dark side Christian has.
- Last Night On Earth – A slow piano track with background guitar. Very laid back and relaxed singing. A love-song and a damn good one!
- East Jesus Nowhere – Act II is kicked off with one of my favourite tracks. A kickass guitar riff and I think this track is about the hypocrisy of religion. A great track with a nice little guitar solo, a drum march and a loud ending.
- Peacemaker – I love this track. It reminds me of Misery from Warning except faster and more… Spanish! Really great vocals, lyrics and they really got this track perfect in my opinion. A really alternative sound but it fits in so well.
- Last of the American Girls – A really old style track for Green Day. Begins with bass. Reminds of She from Dookie. I really like the chorus in this track. Funky guitar licks and it leads into Murder City…
- Murder City – Another favourite on the album. Brilliant fast-paced chorus, sounds a bit old style with great backing vocals and an addictive sound that stays in your head.
- ¿Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl) – This song reminds me a lot of Misery again and Mama by My Chemical Romance. Kickass vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Another great song with a slight Mediterranean (?) feel to it!
- Restless Heart Syndrome – I love this track. It’s pretty epic in my opinion. Once again, it starts with piano and it builds up to powerful electric guitar and lead guitar with wah. Great harmonies from Billie – this track really shows off his vocals which have improved a lot since American Idiot.
- Horseshoes and Handgrenades – What a rockin’ track! I love the vocal effects in this track and the damn cool guitar riff. All topped off with an awesome screams from Billie! One of the best.
- The Static Age – From playing this song, it seems to go through 3 different keys. And this is done really well. I love the chorus and breakdown with the final key-change is awesome. To me it sounds slightly Blink182-ish (Not the vocals) and Church On Sunday from Warning.
- 21 Guns – I wasn’t sure about this track at first. Very alternative vocals from Billie here but it really is a masterpiece. Reminds me a bit of Boulevard Of Broken dreams. Great lyrics and a rockin’ solo.
- American Eulogy – Right now, my favourite track. This one is divided into two parts: Mass Hysteria and Modern World. It opens with Billie singing solo through what sounds like an old radio. Then it breaks into chants of “Hysteria, Mass Hysteria!”. The verse in Mass Hysteria reminds me of Deadbeat Holiday. Another track from Warning. Then, after an interlude and a guitar solo, the song moves up a half step and it breaks into chants of “I don’t want to live in the modern world!” followed by verses sang by Mike Dirnt. This part of the song really makes it amazing for me. The lyrics and the vocals are so addictive. A must-listen from this album.
- See the Light – The final song starts with the same piano/guitar riff from the first song, 21st Century Breakdown. A great way to finish an album. You feel you’ve come around in a circle back to the beginning. A pretty perfect final track for the album, like Whatshername from American Idiot.
Act I – Heroes and cons
Act II – Charlatans And Saints
Act III – Horseshoes And Handgrenades
And that’s it, a review of an album that I believe will outsell American Idiot and make these guys even bigger. It’s got a very Warning-type feel to it, yet much more “stadium-rock” which I think is awesome ’cause these guys know how to rock a stadium! An awesome album I’ll be sure to buy this Friday the 15th.
I just can’t wait till October to see them 🙂