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21st Century Breakdown

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Audio CD, May 15, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 release, the Punk trio's long-awaited eighth studio album,. The album is the best-selling trio's first studio album since 2004's two-time Grammy Award-winning Punk Rock opera American Idiot, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart, spawned five hit singles, and went on to sell more than 12 million copies worldwide. 21st Century Breakdown is divided into three acts: "Heroes and Cons," "Charlatans and Saints," and "Horseshoes and Handgrenades," and follows a young couple, Christian and Gloria, through the mess and promise of the century so far. Songs include "Know Your Enemy", "21 Guns", "East Jesus Nowhere", "Before the Lobotomy", and "Restless Heart Syndrome."

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Song of the Century
  2. 21st Century Breakdown
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. ¡Viva La Gloria!
  5. Before the Lobotomy
  6. Christian's Inferno
  7. Last Night on Earth
  8. East Jesus Nowhere
  9. Peacemaker
  10. Last of the American Girls
  11. Murder City
  12. ¿Viva La Gloria? [Little Girl]
  13. Restless Heart Syndrome
  14. Horseshoes and Handgrenades
  15. The Static Age
  16. 21 Guns
  17. American Eulogy: A. Mass Hysteria/B. Modern World
  18. See the Light

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (357 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,013 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Grace Parker on May 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I had a hard time accepting this new album, as I loved American Idiot and didn't think it could be topped . . . further, I wasn't too excited about the whole "Christian and Gloria" narrative, etc. But I've found that, with repeated listens, the songs have really grown on me. And the narrative is so loose, and Christian and Gloria are referenced so infrequently, that there were times when I forgot I was listening to a "rock opera." This album is not as fun as American Idiot, it is more contemplative and introspective. And, with a few exceptions, it doesn't have the light-heartedness of earlier Green Day material. That's why you have to give it some time. The guys wanted to do something a little different (heck, they've been at this for 20 years). I personally feel like this album came from the heart, and that's why I listened to it two to three times to let it grow on me before making up my mind about it.

The following songs are my favorites:
1) Horseshoes and Handgrenades. I think this song has the most menacing "f$#k you" energy of any Green Day song ever. East Jesus Nowhere is also quite good, for similar reasons.
2) Last Night on Earth. I'm not usually one for ballads, but this one is very beautiful. It was written by Billie Joe for his wife . . .
3) 21st Century Breakdown. This hook grows on you, it has a sunny, grooving quality to it even though the lyrics are kinda pessimistic.
4) "Before the Lobotomy" also starts out as a serious ballad . . . again, not my favorite type of music usually. The track morphs into something else and then the ballad material returns, but set to a backbeat and distorted guitars. It sounds very powerful at the end.
5) Restless Heart Syndrome . . . another haunting ballad that improves with each listen.
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64 of 73 people found the following review helpful By C. Livingston on May 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I've read several reviews saying it takes 2-3 listens to get into this album, but I was hooked the first time. American Idiot spent about 3 months straight in my truck's CD player on repeat and I imagine this one will as well. They have grown musically at about the same pace as I have. They do a great job mixing the fast songs with the ballads (often in the same song). I was 15 when Dookie came out and am now 30. In that period, I have gotten into some great older music - The Beatles (thanks Mom), The Who, Queen, to name few. I was skeptical when I heard Good Riddance on the Nimrod album but that song has since grown into one of my favorite Green Day songs. I still like it fast and heavy but have really grown to appreciate classic rock and you can really hear the influences of these bands in Green Day's last two albums. In fact, for those of you who buy this on itunes, I recommend adding their cover of Lennon's "Working Class Hero" when you burn it onto a CD. It fits right along with the rest of 21st Century Breakdown.

In summary, if you liked American Idiot you will definitely get into this one. A couple more albums like these last two would probably seal their induction into the Rock n Roll hall of fame. Rock on...
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark Fickert on July 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It seems that, more than ever, it's fashionable to hate bands that become successful, begin to explore other sounds and expand their themes; they're labeled as hacks and sellouts. From their hard-punk freshman work on "1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours", Green Day, in my opinion, graduated with their rock-opera "American Idiot" and I wondered how they would top it. They did just that with this epic CD - incredible variety, depth and passion; "21st Century Breakdown" is their doctoral thesis.

Granted, I like everything they've done - from the early EP's to "Kerplunk" to "Warning"; I'm a fan. I think they're the best rockers working today or as Letterman once said when they appeared on 'Late Night', "The band that's single-handedly saving rock and roll." I thought "American Idiot" was the one of the best rock albums released in years but "21st Century..." comes in as far more sophisticated with an impressive array of music and a very clear vision of character and story.

Almost everyone is familiar with the thrust of this album; rock opera story of Christian and Gloria in 3 Acts (Heroes & Cons, Charlatans & Saints, Horseshoes & Handgrenades) so let's talk music.

The sheer range of different sounds on this CD was the first thing that struck me. "21st Century Breakdown" has everything; the hard-rocking "Know Your Enemy" and "Murder City", classic rock echos of "The Who" in the title track as well as "Before the Lobotomy" and "See the Light". Then there's an Ozzy feel to "Christian's Inferno" and the truly edgy "East Jesus Nowhere" (originally called "March of the Dogs"). Surprisingly, there's a beautiful John Lennon-esque ballad style in "Last Night on Earth", "Restless Heart Syndrome" and "21 Guns".
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Pat on May 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Green Day was the first band I ever saw live, so I think I'll always carry a positive bias with me for these guys because of that show. Up until American Idiot I loved every single album they put out. I didn't necessarily dislike American Idiot, it just had a totally different vibe than their previous albums. With 21st Century Breakdown, they really seemed to capture the best elements from American Idiot and go with a similar concept once again. What sets "Breakdown" apart, however, is how well they were able to make such a long, epic album again but manage to pay homage to a lot of their older sounds. Don't get me wrong, this is definitely another stadium-ready rock opera, but done so in a way that all of Green Day's classic pop-punk aggression and melodies shine through and carry you from start to finish. I really didn't expect to enjoy this album much at all, and after the first listen I was worried my suspicions might have been true, but with repeat listens this album has quickly won me over and will definitely be one of my top favorites of 2009.

Favorite Tracks:
¡Viva La Gloria!
East Jesus Nowhere
Last Of The American Girls
Murder City
The Static Age
American Eulogy
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What is the meaning of "Peacemaker"
Actually a peacemaker is a gun (a Colt 45 to be exact)...go to the website and look at the lyrics section for this song and there is a picture of a Colt...I think this song is about violence in the middle east and uses middle eastern rythyms and melodies to put you into the... Read More
Jun 15, 2009 by L. Siegel |  See all 5 posts
DARN you, Amazon!
mp3s are crap quality, so they should cost less than the actual cd, since youre not getting as much.
May 18, 2009 by S. Joiner |  See all 5 posts
Why is the new GreenDay album so lousy!
I dont know, i thought the album had a pretty diverse sound to it. I liked it. I admit the lyrics to do you know your enemy are redundant, but I still like the song, and the rest of the album gets better. You can listen to it on website the leak. There's a link to the leak when you go Green Day's... Read More
May 11, 2009 by Justan Opinion |  See all 82 posts
21st Century Breakdown LP
There are two. The regular 2x LP and the 3x 10" LP
Apr 6, 2013 by Keith |  See all 2 posts
Extra Tracks on Japanese Import of 21st Century Breakdown
I've seen the Japanese version show up on bittorrent sites. The tracks are 1. American Idiot 2. Jesus of Suburbia 3. Holiday 4. Are We the Waiting 5. St. Jimmy 6. Boulevard of Broken Dreams. If I'm not mistaken, that's the same bonus live CD that came with the Japanese American Idiot. If that's... Read More
May 16, 2009 by Michael Caldwell |  See all 6 posts
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