Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CD Review: Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown

I admit it. I was apprehensive about the release of the new Green Day album. I have loved them for so many years... There was a good long stretch where they disappeared from my musical radar. They fell into the cracks of so many excellent bands of the 90's that I wished would just stop making new music and let me remember them for who they were. Then Green Day knocked my socks off. American Idiot won the Big Sexy award for album of the year two straight years! Some may say that's impossible. Mrs. Sexy says it cheapens the integrity of the BS Awards. But I say "Nay!" It was my favorite and most listed to album for that long of a span.

Green Day took a while to put together 21st Century Breakdown. How could they follow the powerful and wonderfully constructed album that was American Idiot? Well, I don't know how they can do it or I'd be rockin' a Fender right now. What I do know is they did. Like AI, 21st Century is a flowing album that is better than the sum of it's parts. However, the album in not just American Idiot 2. I can't quite follow the story lines as I will be able to after the 50th time I listen to it. That's why this album is a lock for BS Album of 2009. For now, I am still emotionally manipulated by the music. I can't imagine how powerful it would be if I was a disenchanted 17 year old boy.

This album helps me bust it on the eliptical, mow lawns, go on a long bike ride or just rock out in Olive the Highlander. It's angry, it's remorseful, it's celebratory, it's defiant, but most of all it is a great rock album. I have my tickets purchased for their concert that promises to be most excellent. Check out that review in 3 months.

5 Leather spike bracelets (out of 5) held high just below my fist.

1 comment:

Big Sexy said...

I want Tuesday Ted to be a contributor to this site. He has given me the following on this album, under the title "I've Got Thoughts".

Here are my chronological 21st Century thoughts: Saw they were coming out with the album that was to be released May 15th. Thought I would wait to hear the scuttle on the album before rushing out to buy it. Happened across the video for Know Your Enemy, watched it with my 9 year old daughter who is as big a fan as me. Thought this is typical Green Day, need to listen 2 or 3 times and I'll have an opinion.
May 15 arrived, My buddy who got me the KOL tickets emailed me and said the tickets arrived (he likes actually receiving tickets, old school!), I responded saying I would drop a check off on my way home. Then I went to my typical solo Friday lunch at Sandra Dee's (15th and E), sat at the bar and read the Sac News and Review, saw the SAMMIE's are doing a deal where a bunch of nominated bands play various venues around town, thought of my favorite concert ever, Green Day at Warfield playing AI cover to cover then another 2 hours of requests. Then the moment of clarity occurred. There is no way Green Day could come close to AI on their next album, impossible. Three of the other top 4's 1) Exile was followed by Goats Head Soup, good but... 2) London Calling was followed by Sandonista... 3) Quadrophenia was followed by The Who by Numbers... It just isn't/wasn't in the cards. Sorry but here is the moment of clarity, just like the Giants signed Zito to a monster contract for his previous success buying 21st Century was a way of paying respect to the unbelievable thrill I continue to get from listening to AI whether it is worth it or not. Decision made, headed to The Beat and bought the album. (do you ever go there, the old hippie with the beard claims he is Joe Strummer's cousin, says his last name is Mellor which is Strummers real last name, great guy) The hippie guy told me the album was flying off the shelves. Put it in my CD player, drove around and "looked at real estate" for the hour plus length of the album and thought it doesn't hold a candle to AI. I went to my friends, Dropped the check off for KOL, hung out and drank a beer while he burned 21st Century for himself. Fast forward 1 week, Listened to the album in my car constantly, went to Vegas for ICSC, listened on the plane, went for a run and listened while running around Vegas declared to my wife that the album is every bit as good as AI.

Today I come to the realization that it is not top 5 of all time not even top 25 so how can it be as good as AI? Maybe if it came first they would replace each other but I don't think so. 2 weeks in and I think like all really good albums for me, 21st Century needs a little time to age.