Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (May 15, 2009)

It was 1994. The Clinton-age has just begun: The USA hosted the Football World Cup for the first time. Kurt Cobain’s death announced that grunge is dead. Rock will survive for more four years only. 3 young californian guys, signing a contract with a major label, released one of the most influential and popular punk-rock albums: lots of power-pop band (such as Blink182, Sum41, Good Charlotte) were inspired by the masterwork Dookie. But the outcomes were loathsome. In the last 15 years Green day turned into a commercial pop-rock band, an icon for MTV-generations. The apotheosis happened with American Idiot (2004); through that colossal “marketable” album, Green Day became the spokesmen of disillusioned American people against the pitiful Bush’s policy.

It took five long years of intensive work for the new episode out, “21st Century breakdown”.
The album is composed of 3 acts ("Heroes and cons", "Charlatans and Saints" and "Horseshoes and handgrenades") and connected with the story of Gloria and Cristian, two young punks in love which announced isolation and desolation in our modern society.
Times now have really changed but things are still not ok. “My generation is zero/I never made it as a working-class hero” sings Billie Joe Armstrong in 21st century breakdown and “We are the cries of the class of 13 Born in the era of humility/ We are the desperate in the decline Raised by the bastards of 1969”.
In the last single Know your enemy, we can find a little bit of their fighting spirit at first; “Violence is an energy / Silence is the enemy / So gimme, gimme revolution”.
Good idea was to include violin and piano in the “teenage” ¡viva La Gloria!: You blast your name / In graffiti on the walls / Falling Through broken glass that's / slashing through your spirit / I can hear it like a jilted crowd.
The ballad Last Night on Earth is charming, even if excessively sloppy and pop (“My beating heart belongs to you / I walked for miles 'til I found you / I'm here to honor you”).
East Jesus Nowhere starts with a riff that hammers in your head as well as the controversial chorus: “A fire burns today / Of blasphemy and genocide / The sirens of decay / Will infiltrate the faith fanatics
21 guns, the second single, is a slow classic rock hit that we will sing for a long time…”One, 21 guns / Lay down your arms / Give up the fight”.
But every single song of this album deserves to be mentioned.
It’s not by pure chance that 21st Century breakdown is produced by Butch Vig: tells you something about Nevermind?

Concerning the themes Green Day still follows the manistream of previous “American Idiot”, on the other hand (and that’s the good news!) they are back to origins in sense of sound: speed rythms, big energy, with a more variety and cheerful.
Because of its 69 minute length and the absence of hits (such as American Idiot or Wake Me Up When September Ends) 21st Century breakdown isn’t an easy listening record, but it’s the best and a very distinguished record made by Green Day in the last ten years.

Ciao belli!

RATING: ●●●●○ 4/5


Act I - Heroes and cons
“Song of the century”
“21st century breakdown”
“Know Your Enemy”
“¡Viva la Gloria!”
“Before the lobotomy”
“Christian's Inferno”
“Last night on Earth”

Act II - Charlatans and Saints
“East Jesus nowhere”
“Last of the American girls”
“Murder City”
“¿Viva la Gloria? (Little girl)”
“Restless heart syndrome”

Act III - Horseshoes and handgrenades
“Horseshoes and handgrenades”
“The static age”
“21 guns”
“American eulogy”
“I. Mass hysteria”
“II. Modern world”
“See the light”


Jul. 03, 2009 Seattle, WA
Jul. 04, 2009 Vancouver, BC
Jul. 06, 2009 Edmonton, AB
Jul. 07, 2009 Saskatoon, SAS
Jul. 09, 2009 Winnipeg, MAN
Jul. 10, 2009 Fargo, ND
Jul. 11, 2009 Minneapolis, MN
Jul. 13, 2009 Chicago, IL
Jul. 14, 2009 Detriot, MI
Jul. 16, 2009 Hamilton, ONT
Jul. 17, 2009 Ottawa, ONT
Jul. 18, 2009 Montreal, QUE
Jul. 20, 2009 Boston, MA
Jul. 21, 2009 Philadelphia, PA
Jul. 22, 2009 Pittsburgh, PA
Jul. 24, 2009 Hartford, CT
Jul. 25, 2009 Albany, NY
Jul. 27, 2009 New York, NY
Jul. 28, 2009 New York, NY
Jul. 29, 2009 Washington, DC
Jul. 31, 2009 Nashville, TN


Anonymous said...

There's an error man.i
n the 1994 the world cup was won by Brasil

Giorgio said...

thanks man! there was a misunderstanding during the translation/editing of the article...
i still remember the final world cup '94.. italy-brazil... :'(