• Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: May 15, 2009
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 278 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 278

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  1. Aug 23, 2011
    4
    So I had heard know your enemy prior to the albums release and than I started listing to it expecting them to make something as good as american idiot and I was sure they had done that when they heard 21st century breakdown which was one of their best songs and than I listened to the rest of the album and was deviated there was only one other good song 21 guns so listing to 21st centurySo I had heard know your enemy prior to the albums release and than I started listing to it expecting them to make something as good as american idiot and I was sure they had done that when they heard 21st century breakdown which was one of their best songs and than I listened to the rest of the album and was deviated there was only one other good song 21 guns so listing to 21st century breakdown was definitely one of the most disappointing moments in my life and I adding a extra 2 stars because of 21st century breakdown 4 out of 10 Expand
  2. Mar 1, 2012
    6
    If you don't like Green Day or preffered they're 90's songs, Keep reading, If you love Green Day, also keep reading. Much like the Epic American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown is an album in the style of an rock opera, so expect this album to become a musical in the near future. While the narrative isn't as gripping as the tale of St Jimmy, The story is still strong, half the songs areIf you don't like Green Day or preffered they're 90's songs, Keep reading, If you love Green Day, also keep reading. Much like the Epic American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown is an album in the style of an rock opera, so expect this album to become a musical in the near future. While the narrative isn't as gripping as the tale of St Jimmy, The story is still strong, half the songs are Awesome while the other half are boring as **** other than that it's a solid album, go buy it Expand
  3. j30
    Sep 21, 2011
    4
    Sounds like b-sides of American Idiot and Warning. Complete lackluster display of songs.from such a great band.
  4. RudeBoy
    Aug 28, 2009
    5
    Class of 13? WTF? Basically i was in the class of 2007 and this CD makes me feel like an old fart. Aren't the guys who made this 40 or something so theyd be in the class of 1989, yet by goin on and on about the class of 2013 all the time they make anybody over the age of about 14 feel like an old fart. This annoys me Musically this album is a bit pretentious, sum41 and blink 182 are better.
  5. Nov 8, 2011
    4
    Green day seems to have grown up too much I preferred green days old material like their unproffessional childish style like Older albums Kerplunk and Dookie and the more hardcore sound in American idiot and Warning. Good stuff back then but this album is very weak, winey, and mellow-dramatic.
  6. TruterR
    Jul 1, 2009
    6
    Well, it's nothing I haven't heard. Same riffs, but if you're new to Green Day you should try it...I feel a fan of the band would be disappointed. To compare it to American Idiot is harsh. You're either gonna love this album or hate it.
  7. JoeT
    May 16, 2009
    6
    American Idiot + higher production value - musical and lyrical hooks & overall Omph! = this album It took all these years to come up with this?!
  8. AaronY
    Jul 9, 2009
    4
    Pretty voice and lyrics. Not Green Day at ALL! All the songs sound similar to each other and/ or the previous album. Where is the creative ambition I read about? Furthermore, most of the songs started slow which kinda turned me off to it. The cords are generic and unexciting. Also, I'm not sure that is Billy Joe's voice, obviously it's his but with help from an auto tuner? Pretty voice and lyrics. Not Green Day at ALL! All the songs sound similar to each other and/ or the previous album. Where is the creative ambition I read about? Furthermore, most of the songs started slow which kinda turned me off to it. The cords are generic and unexciting. Also, I'm not sure that is Billy Joe's voice, obviously it's his but with help from an auto tuner? His voice sounds electronic. Whatever, guess I'll be listening to the old stuff for now. Expand
  9. Aug 18, 2010
    4
    Eh, could have been better..I only liked three songs out of the whole album. Sooo, this album was kinda disappointing. but the songs were good..only the thee I liked. Good rock n roll, but not good enough.
  10. Dec 14, 2010
    6
    This is an eighteen song album and continues to the concept album but similar to American Idiot's problem, it isn't clear. We hear terms such as 'working class hero' over and over again but the problem is, it has the similar themes and ideas of American Idiot so this album does not sound fresh. It's dull and lacks anything special. Only two songs really stood out for me '21st centuryThis is an eighteen song album and continues to the concept album but similar to American Idiot's problem, it isn't clear. We hear terms such as 'working class hero' over and over again but the problem is, it has the similar themes and ideas of American Idiot so this album does not sound fresh. It's dull and lacks anything special. Only two songs really stood out for me '21st century breakdown' and 'American Eulogy' but the only songs just seem lazy and lack ambition. Whilst those two tracks don't. It's not bad or good, it's pretty standard and beats a lot of punk at the moment. Its forgettable but its a good listen that its punishing. Expand
  11. Feb 19, 2011
    4
    A thoroughly lackluster and unoriginal effort from a band who've outstayed their welcome.
    American Idiot was the only thing that was passable everything before and since then has been complete trash
  12. Aug 26, 2011
    6
    Every Green Day album gets bashed and praised - for me Insomniac was the best so far, but sadly, Breakdown, as perfectly good for the job it is, simply never tops anything before it. I've seen most of the album performed live, and it works well. When I saw older tracks live, they all kicked ass. I wanted to like this record, and I do, but it is truly unimpressive in light of Green Day'sEvery Green Day album gets bashed and praised - for me Insomniac was the best so far, but sadly, Breakdown, as perfectly good for the job it is, simply never tops anything before it. I've seen most of the album performed live, and it works well. When I saw older tracks live, they all kicked ass. I wanted to like this record, and I do, but it is truly unimpressive in light of Green Day's discography. The first (two) track(s) is/are perfectly good, and then my recollection of the track list, after listening to this album tens of times, is Know Your Enemy, which is sort of irritating, and out of place at this point in the album, iViva La Gloria!, which is a good, well orchestrated song, then mostly whiny, unremarkable drivel until the last act of the album, with self-titled first track "Horseshoes and Handgrenades", which is an epic example of modern rock. East Jesus Nowhere, The Static Age, and 21 Guns all deserve commendation too. But, at the end of the day, this seems to be a album taped together in random order between a great opening, and a great, if re-used, ending. To look at this album in it's acts, the album's division's, just pay for act three on a legal download site, and forget about the rest - it's not worth your time. Although, if you do like Green Day, it's worth picking up (if you haven't already, for whatever insane reason) to see the stark parallels of a band repeating their last album badly. Expand
  13. Nov 26, 2011
    6
    I loved American Idiot. I loved it because it was complex while being raw and thematically amazing. Green Day was really good with political songs back then. That said, I feel like this album is a bit directionless. Critics praised the political involvement of Green Day. So Green Day thought to themselves ''Hey lets make an album that's even more critical'' but really you can feel it'sI loved American Idiot. I loved it because it was complex while being raw and thematically amazing. Green Day was really good with political songs back then. That said, I feel like this album is a bit directionless. Critics praised the political involvement of Green Day. So Green Day thought to themselves ''Hey lets make an album that's even more critical'' but really you can feel it's forced and vague at best. Where American Idiot made a point, 21st Century Breakdown tries to be melodramatic but fails.

    Musically, this album has some good songs. Some great ones even, like iViva la Gloria! and ?Viva la Gloria? But I do think that some of the complexity of Green Day's longer songs has been taken away and replaced with generic 4 chord music. Also, it's a bit overproduced. I liked it when there wasn't triple bass and guitar everywhere, but there were some bits where you could actually hear the guitar being fragile and unsure.
    Where before I would have defended Green Day against people calling their music ''cheap'' and ''too simple''/''simplistic'', here it's completely justified.

    Green Day, don't try to live up to American Idiot by trying too hard making everything the same as that.
    I heard some of the newer stuff they wrote lately and performed live and honestly it's a good development again. I hope to see an album rivaling American Idiot, while not copying it.
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  14. Jan 4, 2014
    6
    I wasn't exactly sure how to feel about this album. Sure, some of the songs in it were hits that i still listen to, like '21 Guns' or 'See The Light' but I felt that Green Day slipped a bit on this album. It's not good, but it's not bad either. It's not American Idiot for sure, but it still deserves recognition.
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. The performances are blandly professional, because any major-label rock band of Green Day's abilities could shit this stuff out in their sleep, and emotionally inert. This is the crafting of a modern epic as a dreary day-job routine.
  2. 21st Century Breakdown is far from a bad album, and, like Idiot, will likely be the best release this year from such a popular band.
  3. It could have easily gone any of several wrong ways, but Green Day's punk has long since been tempered with pop's most attractive attributes, and 21stCentury Breakdown, like its predecessor, is unapologetically accessible and relentlessly exhilarating.