Wednesday, August 17, 2011
21st Century Breakdown - Green Day (Review)
Okay, lets get one thing straight before I start this review. Green Day has been my favorite band since like 3rd grade. From 3rd grade to 6th grade I listened to nothing but Green Day. This was just about the time American Idiot came out. Back than I was too young to be a critic, but for some reason I never liked American Idiot either. My thoughts on that album have not changed a bit. I still do not like it, but I still liked them as a band and I looked forward to the next album. Well, I shouldn't have. This is worse than American Idiot. There is not one more element from Green Day pre-2004 included on this album. I tried so hard to like this album. I looked at the lyrics, and music at every way possible trying to some how find a reason to like this album. I failed. Now it just takes up space on my itunes.
"Song of the Century" is just an intro to the album. There is nothing but Billie Joe's vocals and radio static. It has a nice melody, and it does a good job setting up the album, but from a non-artistic standpoint, it just seems like filler.
The title track, "21st Century Breakdown", is the best single on the album. It has a very nice melody and a pretty complex song structure. About halfway through the song, it breaks into what seems to be a whole different song. It gains tempo, and has a lot more energy than the first half. Towards the end of the song, it falls into somewhat of a ballad. It is Green Day's attempt at being an epic arena rock band. They didn't fail, however, Green Day is not an arena rock band. They are a pop/punk band, and they should keep it that way.
The first single, "Know Your Enemy", is down right awful. This feels, for the most part, like filler. It is repetitive throughout the whole song. The whole song consists of pretty much one melody, besides a twenty second bridge. It then breaks into a guitar solo which is just playing the damn melody for the whole time! Billie Joe tries to revive the song by screeching toward the end, but fails.
"Viva La Gloria!" starts off with just vocals and piano. Although the piano is nice like this, It, again, doesn't sound like Green Day. After the song kicks into high gear, it sounds a lot more like Green Day. It is pretty catchy. It is upbeat and actually sounds like some of their older stuff. It is alright, but nothing I will remember years from now.
"Before the Lobotomy" is probably the least memorable track on the album. It begins with an acoustic guitar and vocals and it is extremely boring. No good melody, and nothing special. When the distorted guitars come in, you are expecting something epic to happen, but nothing. Just a lazy guitar riff, and a lazy melody. Not the worse on the album, but the least memorable.
"Christian's Inferno" is one of the best songs on the album. It is much darker than the rest of the album. It really doesn't have the poppy sound the rest of the album revolves around. The verses are, for lack of a better word, very trippy. The guitar and the voice have an effect that makes it even more trippy. The chorus is very fun, and breaks away from the trippy feel. The solo is a tad lazy, but it doesn't drag it down much. It sounds like Green Day's side project, The Network, a lot. I would have to say this is the coolest song on the album.
"Last Night On Earth" is another very good track. It is catchy and pretty slow for a Green Day song, but it still sounds like it's a Green Day song (unlike some other ones on the album). It revolves around piano and acoustic guitar, which is nice. The electric guitar sound very nice too. Songs like these are what makes me look forward to what Green Day does next. I get let down everytime, but still. There are always a couple great songs on every shitty album.
Another single on the album is "East Jesus Nowhere". It is not good. It really expresses their pretentious side, and I really hate it. It just doesn't have the same charm all their other stuff has. I miss the days when Green Day were just a few punks from Oakland. They have taken advantage of their "rockstardom" and took it to an unnecessary level where they just seem like pretentious assholes.
"Peacemakers" is the one of the lowest points on the album (besides one other, which I will get to later). It is just very dumb. It seems like they are trying to get attention for doing something totally unexpected, because it just sounds childish. It is really stupid. It sounds like a mexican party song. It is hard to get through the song without laughing.
"Last of the American Girls" is catchy as all hell, but is way to poppy and over produced to listen to more than twice. The melody is great and all, but this is not a good song at all. Very generic lyrics written a thousand times before by every other band. It sounds like a bad Blink 182 song. This is the kind of song that has gotten them the reputation of being a band for 12 year old girls.
That leads into a song called "Murder City". It isn't very memorable, but it is actually an okay track. It sounds like it could have came from Nimrod with some major production tweaks. The production and the (pretentious) lyrics are the only thing seperating it from Nimrod. It is a straight forward pop/punk song. It is okay, but, again, nothing I will crave for in the future.
The next song is very cool. It is called "Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl)". It sounds reminiscent of old Scooby Doo cartoons with a punk twist on them. Although that may sound dumb, it is executed very well. I love listening to this song. It sounds like something you would hear on the album Warning. It actually songds very similar to the song "Misery" on the album Warning. It has a very unique sound that is hard to explain. You do not hear this kind of song by any bands now. It was quite refreshing when I heard this song.
"Restless Heart Syndrome" is a major bore-fest. I have been making many similarities in this review, but this song sounds like nothing. When I say nothing, I literally mean it sounds like I am listening to nothing through my speakers. When it gets about half way throught the song it gets heavy and sounds like the end of "Blvd. Of Broken Dreams", which I hate with a passion. Bottom line : Don't listen to this song no matter who you are. It has absolutly no substance or character what so ever.
"Horseshoes And Handgrenades" sounds like a failed attempt to sound like their other side project, Foxboro Hot tubs. I love the Foxboro Hot Tubs, I personally think that is the best release by them in the past 10 years, but this song is awful. It sounds like a Foxboro Hot Tubs tribute band who are awful. That is a better way to explain it. It is a tad heavier than the rest of the tracks, but still just as bad.
The next song is "The Static Age". It is nothing too embarassing, yet nothing too great either. The chorus has a very similar melody to "Church On Sunday" on their album Warning. This song was my favorite song when the album came out, but it did not age well. Now, I just see it as another mediocore Green Day song.
Now for the biggest shit stain of a song. "21 Guns" is the biggest piece of shit Green Day has ever released. It sounds like every other soulless top forty bullshit song you hear on the radio. Idiotic idea releasing this song as a single. Shit like this is what makes me embarassed to say I am Green Day fan. Because of this song, I keep my Green Day fandom to myself. I don't understand why the hell they had to release something like this. It makes no sense to me.
"American Eulogy" starts off with the intro to the album "Song Of The Century" with different lyrics. The verse melody is strangely similar to "Deadbeat Holiday" by them on the album Warning....again. It is pretty catchy. It has two seperate parts. In the second part, the bassist, Mike Dirnt, sings. This song isn't great but it is certainly not as bad as half of the other shit on the album.
The closure is "See The Light". This is another unmemorable song. Bad choice as a closure. I personally would've chosen "Last Night On Earth" as the closure. The song closes and opens with the first riff of the title song, so They tried to make a story book ending. That was kind of cool. Not cool enough though!
I can't express in words how dissapointed I was with this album. I hated American Idiot, and this is a step further down. Billie Joe has just become another slave of the music industry. There is not much good to say about this album. I firmly believe that good Green Day is gone and not coming back. Another really awful thing about this album are Billie's vocals. They are absolutly awful. They sound slurred throughout the whole entire album. This is one of the most over produced albums I have ever listened to. Half of these songs would be okay if they weren't compressed to all hell. It really sucks to see bands transform like this. From the eyeliner to this. They are just falling down the drain rapidly in my eyes.
Highlights : Christian's Inferno, Last Night On Earth, Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl)
Music : 3.5 (Godammit GREEN DAY!)
Lyrics : 3 (Trying to be smart, but failing. Same as American Idiot)
Artwork : 6 (Actually pretty cool)
Overall : 3.5
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