Green Day's New Album a Disappointment
Green Day, the punks from Berkeley, California who helped begin the pop punk genre in the early '90s are back with their new album "21st Century Breakdown" and it could not be more common and pathetic. Six years after "American Idiot," which became a phenomenal success, saturating the radio stations of the world, their new album sounds neither original nor creative but more like "American Idiot Part 2."
It is a rock opera like the previous album and loosely talks about the lives of two characters named Christian and Gloria living in the U.S. after George Bush left office and dealing with the aftermath of his decisions.
The album is in three acts entitled, "Heroes and Cons," "Charlatans and Saints," and "Horseshoes and Handgrenades."
With the idea of the album dying because of constant downloading, and record shops closing, the idea of a concept album is as dead as the compact disc.
With titles like "Viva La Gloria," the single "Know Your Enemy," and "The Static Age" that have multiple song reprisals using the same song titles, it is an overwhelming album of 18 songs that get jumbled in the hearing process.
There are some standouts such as "Know Your Enemy" that sounds slightly original and "21 Guns," a slow ballad which is eerily similar to "Wake Me Up When September Ends" but "21 Guns" sounds better live as in the album it sounds whiny and nasal.
"21st Century Breakdown, "Murder City"" and "East Jesus Nowhere" have the formula to be rocking songs, but feel hollow and pretentious. And while the album is heavy with ballads, sometimes you just want to rock out and ballads just don't help with that problem.
To any punk-rock lover, the track "Horseshoes and Handgrenades" sounds mysteriously similar to Swedish pop band The Hives' "Main Offender" which only comes to question Green Day's originality and lack of ethics on stealing a young band's signature sound.
With this album, it seems Green Day believes they are making history, becoming legends, making this generation's "Nevermind" or "Joshua Tree."
But they already achieved it with "American Idiot" causing inescapable nausea.
Sometimes it is hard to decipher how the trio who would never in their life wear mascara while making great '90s punk songs like "Brain Stew" and "Nice Guys Finish Last" now look "emo" wearing the latest trend of pop rock and selling merchandise at the "tween" girl store Claire's.
Green Day should just be their selves and convey that the industry will not change them. But sadly, that is not the case, and as long as they have that certain formula created by "American Idiot," and keep making those "Idiot" sequels, their rock reputation will now be tarnished and no longer will they be legends but just mediocre legends who sell millions of so-so records. They are this decade's Bon Jovi.
So do yourself a favor, don't buy this album. The songs are just rip-offs and ballads trying to send out a message that falls flat.
Go listen to their early stuff if you must or better yet don't make Green Day any more richer than they have to be and go look for some obscure punk artists who only live for the music.