Sunday, May 10, 2009

21st Century Breakdown!

If you've been following my blog, you've probably noticed the two widgets I have on the right advertising Green Day's new album 21st Century Breakdown. I have been waiting for this album for about three years, and it will finally be here on Friday! I've actually already had the chance to listen to it. VH1, Rhapsody, and a couple other websites "leaked" the album a week early. They've been calling it "The Leak", but I honestly don't get how they can when they have the band's permission. A leak is when someone gets illegal copies of the song and/or album early and releases them without the band's permission... But that's really not important! The biggest point I am trying to make is that the day I have been waiting for for so long is finally here!

First off, I'll give a review of the album. 21st Century Breakdown exceeded my expectations, which were already pretty high to begin with! Like Green Day's previous album American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown is written in a rock opera format. All the songs played back to back kind of tell a story. In the new album, the two main characters, Christian and Gloria, try to deal with the mess that President Bush left behind, hence the name 21st Century Breakdown. The lyrics have a powerful message about the band's opinion on pretty much everything that's going on right now. While I don't agree with all of their songs (i.e. East Jesus Nowhere, which is Billie Joe's rant about modern religion), I have to give them credit; they are not afraid to say what other bands are afraid to say. In their song American Eulogy (which is one of my new favorites), Billie sings, "The class war is hanging on a wire / Because the martyr is a compulsive liar / When he said / 'It's just a bunch of niggers throwing gas into the hysteria' ". He uses the the word "nigger", which you know is going to get him accused of being racist against black people. However, he used it in a context that makes it so he's not. He was mocking what "the martyr" would say. I'm not exactly sure who he's singing about, but he's taking a stand against someone. It was kind of like in Holiday on their previous album. Billie sings,"Zieg Heil to the president gas man / Bombs away is your punishment / Pulverize the Eiffel towers / Who criticize your government / Bang, Bang goes the broken glass / Kill all the fags that don't agree". One again, he uses a word (fags) that's been tabooed by society to get his opinion out there. American Idiot was a purely anti-Bush album. Billie Joe was mocking the way our 43rd President was running the country, with references to different things they believe he's done wrong. When he said, "Kill all the fags that don't agree", he was referring to Bush's stance on gay marriage. 

Not only are there powerful lyrics, but 21st Century Breakdown will rock your socks off as well. Billie, Mike, and Tre have matured, for lack of a better word, since their days playing at Gilman. They have gone from being a couple of punk kids to full-blown musicians. They're range is huge on this new album. They have their signature punk-rock songs, they have songs on piano, they have slow songs, they have songs with multiple parts, and they even threw a love song in there. No matter what style they play, it's amazing. 

A few of my favorite songs are Before the Lobotomy, Christian's Inferno, Peacemaker, Last of the American Girls, ¿Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl), Horseshoes and Handgrenades, The Static Age, and American Eulogy. If you listen to them, you'll know I'm more of a rocker kind of guy, but I also like the stuff that sounds different. Peacemaker and Little Girl are both songs that are kind of out of the ordinary. Peacemaker has kind of a Spanish or Italian sound to it, I haven't really decided yet. I think it sounds Spanish, but then Billie starts singing "Vendetta / Sweet vendetta" which I know is Italian. Either way, it's an awesome song! Little Girl starts off sounding Italian. It kind of reminds of the Godfather. I'm not sure what type of music next; it may still be Italian, but it sounds like something else to me. I can't quite think of it, but it's something European. Once again, it's stupendous no matter what!

If you want to, you can listen to the new album right here. Honestly, I think it's my favorite album yet! You should definitely give it a listen as long as you're ears can handle a couple f-bombs!