21st Century Breakdown

  • Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: May 15, 2009
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 303 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 303

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  1. 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.
  2. DarrylC
    Oct 20, 2009
    10
    Simply a great album. You can listen to this album over and over and not get tired of it. I would rate this album superior to American Idiot only because every track is superb. They are able to vary their sound and see be Greenday. Richer melodic material and deeper tonal texture woven together to form a satisfying epic album. Viva La Green Day!
  3. DaveR
    May 18, 2009
    10
    Amazing. Absolutely amazing. It's such a fun album to listen to, so epic. The powerful guitar riffs just make you want to jump in the air in excitement everytime you listen. Good job Green Day, you've outdone yourselves this time.
  4. AllenD
    May 28, 2009
    8
    I have read numerous reviews, some rating this album as a masterpiece, others as mediocre and others as absolutely terrible. I could write an essay about why those who think this is anything less than a good album are delusional, but I'd prefer to listen to the album again so I'll be brief. Regardless of what you think of the narrative concept or the lyrics, this alum sounds I have read numerous reviews, some rating this album as a masterpiece, others as mediocre and others as absolutely terrible. I could write an essay about why those who think this is anything less than a good album are delusional, but I'd prefer to listen to the album again so I'll be brief. Regardless of what you think of the narrative concept or the lyrics, this alum sounds amazing. The riffs are bouncy and heavy the melodies are catchy and Billie Joe's voice sounds as good as ever. Quite simply, this album rocks. Expand
  5. LeeK
    Jun 2, 2009
    10
    In my opinion, this album is among the best that this legendary band has ever recorded. Instead of going back to their roots to create an easy fan pleaser after the great success of AI, Green Day took a massive step forward and made one of the deepest and most satisfying albums ever. There is not a single track on the CD that I could pick out as being a 'filler', they are all In my opinion, this album is among the best that this legendary band has ever recorded. Instead of going back to their roots to create an easy fan pleaser after the great success of AI, Green Day took a massive step forward and made one of the deepest and most satisfying albums ever. There is not a single track on the CD that I could pick out as being a 'filler', they are all masterpieces. And for those fans who say it is terrible because it is not like their old music, it isn't that they have lost the talent to create another purely punk record, they just don't want to. They had the desire to show their full talent and potential and this album is it. Expand
  6. AnonyMous
    Jun 24, 2009
    9
    You know, it's not perfect. Some of it seems a little too familiar. Some of it's redundant. The concept is sometimes lost in the excitement and it's a little too long. But I can say, without reservations, that it's the most musically diverse and interesting album Green Day has ever made. The music is generally terrific and relevant, and practically every song here You know, it's not perfect. Some of it seems a little too familiar. Some of it's redundant. The concept is sometimes lost in the excitement and it's a little too long. But I can say, without reservations, that it's the most musically diverse and interesting album Green Day has ever made. The music is generally terrific and relevant, and practically every song here could be an individual success. Green Day hasn't just made a great collection of songs--they've made a great album. Sensational. Expand
  7. NathanG
    Jul 10, 2009
    10
    I really like Green Day's older stuff. 21st Century, like American Idiot, is simply better than the older stuff. But it is certainly not American Idiot 2. It is actually quite different. Green Day just keeps getting better and better, and this album is simply a masterpiece.
  8. Andrea
    Aug 4, 2009
    8
    Great record with great songs. If only there isn't the piano, it would be better.
  9. Ikarus14
    Oct 9, 2009
    9
    Makes American Idiot look mediocre in comparison.
  10. 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?!
  11. Michael
    May 16, 2009
    10
    This album blows my mind. This is better then 'American Idiot', It seems like some of the vintage rock n roll style they adopted on 'Warning' and then ditched for 'American Idiot' has returned in some of the tracks, although it's not dominant on the same level as Foxboro Hot Tubs. Musically to my ears this album sounds like a mix of Warning, American This album blows my mind. This is better then 'American Idiot', It seems like some of the vintage rock n roll style they adopted on 'Warning' and then ditched for 'American Idiot' has returned in some of the tracks, although it's not dominant on the same level as Foxboro Hot Tubs. Musically to my ears this album sounds like a mix of Warning, American Idiot and Insomniac with a sprinkle of Dookie, although that doesn't mean they are rehashing their previous sounds because they've built upon them and made them fresh again, they even try new things that would otherwise be considered not Green Day ... like Billie Joe singing falsetto on some of the tracks. The lyrics are great and quiet a few lines on this album will offend any person who is against free thinking, religious and an annoying conservative. Expand
  12. PB
    May 16, 2009
    10
    Not only is 21st Century Breakdown more ambitious than American Idiot, but genuinely a better album in general, with more ambition, more accessibility, and more depth than it's slightly 2D predecessors. An truly excellent album of stellar proportions, it blew away my scepticisms and exceeded all expectations.
  13. Brandon
    May 20, 2009
    3
    This album is very disappointing. It feels like they're just rehashing the same thing all over again. Compared to American Idiot, this is far inferior. And the irony of the title of the album coupled with its borrowing from influences long dead is just unsettling. There seems to be no direction, no boldness and most of all, no hooks. They could do so much better, and it's This album is very disappointing. It feels like they're just rehashing the same thing all over again. Compared to American Idiot, this is far inferior. And the irony of the title of the album coupled with its borrowing from influences long dead is just unsettling. There seems to be no direction, no boldness and most of all, no hooks. They could do so much better, and it's disheartening to see all the critics and the public largely kissing their collective asses undeservedly. Very disappointing. Expand
  14. ThomS
    Jun 25, 2009
    10
    Great album. Truly is. It has more diverse instrumentation than previous albums by Green Day. Also it does deserve its praise. When the worst critic review simply calls it average, it's a sign that you have something good. Besides critics have In Rainbows 40%, so no loss with a few bad seeds.
  15. RolfG
    Jun 27, 2009
    10
    A collection of great songs, it's an album with a song to everymood! It's probobly going to be a classic one, it's not punk rock any more it's classic rock. A masterpiece with ambition and very good written catchy rock songs!
  16. MikeW
    Jul 2, 2009
    8
    I'm not a Green Day fan, but I was really hooked by 21 Guns; I'll admit, it sound similar to most of they're stuff, but hey, they've found what works and they're running with it. It's not the most original sound, but it's good.
  17. PatrickB
    Jul 7, 2009
    9
    Not as good as American Idiot, but very close. I love putting this on and rolling through the whole thing in a sitting.
  18. 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
  19. Stefano
    Aug 29, 2009
    10
    Great album for one major's rock band in the world!!!!
  20. TysonB.
    Sep 21, 2009
    10
    It is really good.
  21. PissFish
    Sep 6, 2009
    9
    American Idiot achieved the impossible, it made Green Day Cool and Popular and mainstream. But Does this really mean it was a great album ? No, American Idiot (in my opinion) was a bit Tacky and sounded over produced. 21st century Breakdown achieved the long awaited, to make Green Day Brilliant. The title track 21st century is a brilliant capture of 21st century life and songs like before American Idiot achieved the impossible, it made Green Day Cool and Popular and mainstream. But Does this really mean it was a great album ? No, American Idiot (in my opinion) was a bit Tacky and sounded over produced. 21st century Breakdown achieved the long awaited, to make Green Day Brilliant. The title track 21st century is a brilliant capture of 21st century life and songs like before the lobotomy and Viva la Gloria are also master pieces. there is only one BAD song on this album and that is Know your Enemy which sounds like it should have been on American idiot but worse. All together though this album is an amazing slice of Rock History. Expand
  22. MariahL
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    How can you not love this album if you don't fine but you cannot see the musical genius behind it and the complexity it is truly a masterpiece leave it to create two of the most influential and memorable albums of the decade deal with it sorry if you miss old Green Day but they have moved on and are great STILL.
  23. CraigE
    Oct 2, 2009
    0
    This music is total crap. I can't understand why all you IDIOT's would think this deserves a 10. It is simpy & cli.che ridden and sounds as if it was created with no thought. Maybe they like it so much because the recording co. is speading alot of payola around. There is good music out there, its just not on the radio. Wise up you stupid sponges and broaden your listening to This music is total crap. I can't understand why all you IDIOT's would think this deserves a 10. It is simpy & cli.che ridden and sounds as if it was created with no thought. Maybe they like it so much because the recording co. is speading alot of payola around. There is good music out there, its just not on the radio. Wise up you stupid sponges and broaden your listening to music outside of what the recording industry wants you to . Expand
  24. EddM
    May 15, 2009
    10
    A masterful album! A brilliant narrative throughout the album and hugely enjoyable from start to finish!
  25. Kevin
    May 15, 2009
    8
    I'm enjoying this album right from the first listen. Does stay along the same vein as American Idiot but if it ain't broke, why fix it? Worth picking up if your a fan of the band for sure.
  26. SeanR
    May 15, 2009
    10
    21st Century Breakdown captures everything American Idiot did and more. Every song is not only catchy, but holds emotion. Listening to 21st Century Breakdown is not only a lyrical and ideological experience, but a very emotional one. Armstrong's lyrics are mostly brilliant and the record is masterfully crafted, keeping a nice pace and never leaving the listener wanting less or 21st Century Breakdown captures everything American Idiot did and more. Every song is not only catchy, but holds emotion. Listening to 21st Century Breakdown is not only a lyrical and ideological experience, but a very emotional one. Armstrong's lyrics are mostly brilliant and the record is masterfully crafted, keeping a nice pace and never leaving the listener wanting less or getting bored with the record, despite it's 18-track length. Expand
  27. GreenHead
    May 16, 2009
    10
    Remarkable Album and ambitiously delivered. Those who say this album is subpar need a history lesson in rock music. Go back to school kids. Green Day rocks with this album. Truely one of their best.
  28. Matt
    May 17, 2009
    10
    Incredible. Of course, one could argue the band are losing direction - but that does not mean this is not an epic album, simply that it is what the world is described as in Armstrong's lyrics at the moment - in chaos, varied, and downright screwed up. This is what fans of American Idiot will have been waiting for.
  29. JonnyN
    May 17, 2009
    8
    The songs are superb, but I just can't understand why they have to use such a bothersome and terribly noticeable auto-tune...so annoying...He's a great singer! doesn't even need it!
  30. CameronS
    May 23, 2009
    9
    Sure they've strayed from their punk-stoner roots and drifted way into the alternative rock realm, but, hell, this new Green Day formula works, and it works well. Oh yeah, and the title track is by far the best song I've heard in years.
  31. RockyL
    May 24, 2009
    10
    I am 46 and I own 20,000+ pieces of vinyl and more than 5000 CD's. I've worked in a record store and was a nightclub DJ for 15 years. I've seen, met and gotten drunk with hundreds of bands over the years. I believe I know music pretty well. This is one of the best albums I've ever heard. Green Day followed up one of the most surprising hit albums with what I believe is I am 46 and I own 20,000+ pieces of vinyl and more than 5000 CD's. I've worked in a record store and was a nightclub DJ for 15 years. I've seen, met and gotten drunk with hundreds of bands over the years. I believe I know music pretty well. This is one of the best albums I've ever heard. Green Day followed up one of the most surprising hit albums with what I believe is an instant classic. 21st Century Breakdown will go down as one of the top 100 Rock Albums of all time. That's how good it is. Expand
  32. ChrisK
    Jun 12, 2009
    9
    When first listening to American Idiot i thought it would be the last Green Day studio album. Then i heard about 21st Century Breakdown. The first thought that came to mind was "It's not going to be better than American Idiot". But When i heard Know Your Enemy I was cautious about thinking that. I got the album the day it came out and within hearing the first 6 songs i was blown When first listening to American Idiot i thought it would be the last Green Day studio album. Then i heard about 21st Century Breakdown. The first thought that came to mind was "It's not going to be better than American Idiot". But When i heard Know Your Enemy I was cautious about thinking that. I got the album the day it came out and within hearing the first 6 songs i was blown away. Green Day has not slipped up or slowed down at all for this album. From the song's like Murder City and American Eulogy that reminded me of the Dookie days to the Ballads like 21 Guns and Last Night On Earth have shown me that the band is not afraid to grow up some and change there style while still remaing punk. The album is just a masterpiece. Better Than American Idiot. Dookie is still #1 in my books but This is easilly #2. Expand
  33. ChingW
    Jul 14, 2009
    10
    What a sweet album. The thing about it is, unlike American Idiot, people all around the world can feel with and agree with the lyrics, coz the songs could be talking about any hardship. A very mature album, definitely looking forward to what Green Day has to offer in the future.
  34. WyattM
    Jul 24, 2009
    10
    I think 21st century breakdown has great songs and great lyrics.
  35. BRaftis
    Jul 3, 2009
    0
    Boring. Anti-Climactic. It seems as thgoug Green Day didn't even try to make the songs work half as well with each other as they did on American Idiot. It gets better the more you listen to it but not much. I gave it a zero for as large a drop as possible on my vote to lower the average rating...this album should be at about a 6.
  36. BarbaraS
    Jul 9, 2009
    10
    Who knows what lyrics and good music really is about, will understand.
  37. OrlandoM
    Aug 17, 2009
    10
    All though the ten is just to try bring the rating up I was still very impressed by the album the beginning to the songs may not be that great but by the end I'm hooked.
  38. 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.
  39. Jake
    Sep 22, 2009
    10
    Better than idiot one truly for the ages.
  40. LoveMusic
    May 15, 2009
    10
    How can you describe this album in one word? Epic! Easily the strongest vocals Billie has ever produced. Lyrically its the best Green Day have ever written. Though a lot of songs are steeped in metaphor and its clear that most "pro critics" have failed to see this. Lowest point of the album has to be 'Know Your Enemy' Far too repetitive, but again it sticks to the message of the How can you describe this album in one word? Epic! Easily the strongest vocals Billie has ever produced. Lyrically its the best Green Day have ever written. Though a lot of songs are steeped in metaphor and its clear that most "pro critics" have failed to see this. Lowest point of the album has to be 'Know Your Enemy' Far too repetitive, but again it sticks to the message of the album. Strongest point of the album, probably the title track itself '21st Century Breakdown' What an opener to the first Act! Tracks that stick to mind: 21st Century Breakdown, 21 Guns, Last Night On Earth, East Jesus Nowhere, ¡Viva La Gloria! Expand
  41. MarcW
    May 15, 2009
    10
    Great, ambitious album. Better than American Idiot. Impressive stuff.
  42. GerogeS
    May 16, 2009
    10
    It's a fantastic album with limitless appeal and not to mention the fact that Green Day have, in three years expanded their sound more than in the entire ten year stretch as the world's best Punk Rock band. American Idiot showed its intentions to be big and its execution to be even more immaculate, though where it faultered was when Billie Joe attempted to provide answers using It's a fantastic album with limitless appeal and not to mention the fact that Green Day have, in three years expanded their sound more than in the entire ten year stretch as the world's best Punk Rock band. American Idiot showed its intentions to be big and its execution to be even more immaculate, though where it faultered was when Billie Joe attempted to provide answers using meticulous epics such as Homecoming. In this album it sees Armstrong looking back over the carnage that the Dubbya reign brought over America and this time dosn't provide any answers. A nod to the White Houses latest occupant that he is the one who must sort out the devastation inflicted on America. This album may not give the sucker punch of a wake up call that was American Idiot but it provides us with yet another fantasic document of the times and a vivid narrative that starts to unfold before your very eyes (or should i say ears). There is no doubt about it anymore, America may still have a huge mountain to climb in the process of its restoration but in terms of Armstrong and co. they have already reached the summit. Expand
  43. MichaelC
    May 16, 2009
    0
    Green Day has lost complete focus and direction. This isn't even Green Day. They need to drop the make up, and the demographic of 12 year old rich girls who are angry at their parents. Furthermore, rolling stone gave this a 90 and Merriweather post pavilion only got a 70 from them? Total faith lost in rolling stone.
  44. KurtL.
    May 16, 2009
    7
    I don't know why but this album isn't blowing me away. There isn't a single song that I don't like, but there are only two that I love: 21st century breakdown and 21 guns. A lot of the songs sound very familliar too. In my opinion, it doesn't even come close to American Idiot.
  45. AlexAd
    May 17, 2009
    10
    Great album, first listen didn't rock me the way I thought but after really listening it truly sounded great.
  46. ZackS
    May 17, 2009
    10
    A band without direction? Don't listen to Sputnikmusic or most of the reviews on here. Im not that much of a green day fan but omg i cant stop listening to this album. Buy it end of story.
  47. JP
    May 17, 2009
    10
    Something both Melodic and Bold. That is what 21st Century Breakdown has achieved. Truly a master piece in the long winding road that is Green Day. This is a must for both long time Fans and those just joining the party. Great album all around.
  48. JalexD
    May 18, 2009
    0
    I'm sure I'll come to think of this record as deserving of a better score than the one I'm giving it now. But listening to it now, all I can think about is how Green Day seem to be trying too hard to make a repeat performance of 'American Idiot.' After spending a considerable amount of time between making new music, I expected the band to return with something I'm sure I'll come to think of this record as deserving of a better score than the one I'm giving it now. But listening to it now, all I can think about is how Green Day seem to be trying too hard to make a repeat performance of 'American Idiot.' After spending a considerable amount of time between making new music, I expected the band to return with something fresh. And if '21st Century Breakdown' had been released as a companion piece to their previous record in 2005, I could probably appreciate this. Anyhow, as it stands now, I don't feel like I'm hearing anything new, or particularly exciting, so here's hoping the next one is better. Expand
  49. same
    May 18, 2009
    10
    21st century breakdown is green days best album!!! It sounds bigger and stronger than any rock album to come out this decade.the vocals are outstanding along with the lyrics.This band has grown so much with a little help from legendary producer butch vig.
  50. JamesR
    May 22, 2009
    3
    Are you kidding? Who are you people who think it is "masterful" and "ambitious." It's a hollow, rehash of a great album... Nothing to say, but speaks anyway. Terrible.
  51. RyanS
    May 24, 2009
    0
    This album is exactly the same as before. Furthermore, it is tiring, repetitive and nothing new. Green Day repeated the formula of the previous album and has not brought anything new. The sound "emo" band that continues to influence will only please some fans.
  52. ChrisN
    May 28, 2009
    7
    Rocky L - I hope you are being sarcastic. This is a good album, but it's far from 'top 100 Rock Albums of all time" territory. It certainly seems like you've got an impressive music collection, but that doesn't exactly qualify you to make statements like that. Time will tell, I suppose.
  53. BryanM
    Jun 11, 2009
    3
    There are no new ideas here. Everything has been rehashed from old albums, and their lyrics are more vague and directionless than before. American Idiot was overrated, but still worth listening to. This is essentially a B-sides compilation of American Idiot, presented as the anthem collection of the century. There are a few tracks worth listening to, but I cannot recommend this album to There are no new ideas here. Everything has been rehashed from old albums, and their lyrics are more vague and directionless than before. American Idiot was overrated, but still worth listening to. This is essentially a B-sides compilation of American Idiot, presented as the anthem collection of the century. There are a few tracks worth listening to, but I cannot recommend this album to anybody but the Top 40 worshiping masses. Expand
  54. QuayT
    Jun 17, 2009
    7
    Green Day's bast days are well-behind them, as I think the pre-breakthrough youthful energy of Dookie cannot be recaptured. That being said, this album is much better than American Idiot, a fact which much surprised me, given the banality of the lead single, "Know Your Enemy." I only wonder why they would choose such a blatantly repetitive song to lead a much more creative album.
  55. Cedric
    Jun 27, 2009
    10
    It's a good with album with excellent instrumentation. My only concern is all the word crammed into one line on some of the songs.
  56. mikec
    Jul 14, 2009
    10
    awesome
  57. JoshH
    Jul 18, 2009
    10
    This is an amaZing album with some amazing riffs and lots of catchy songs " know your enemy " maby not as good as American idiot but still very good also the album style has changed has more piano sections all in all 10/10
  58. MirthM
    Aug 31, 2009
    10
    Seriously. This is one for the ages. Great album.
  59. MikeB
    Nov 27, 2009
    10
    A modern-day masterpiece.
  60. Aug 11, 2010
    10
    Another excellent album that has a lot to say while intertwined with great music!! Green Day still has what it takes to make you lose yourself in the lyrics and rock out to the beat! Thank you Green Day.
  61. Jul 29, 2011
    10
    Waaayyyy better than American Idiot! The songs all have a very different sound to them (aside from 21st Century Breakdown and See the Light, obviously); it feels like every song on here should be a hit single. The solos come in at a perfect time, and the lyrics are genius, although it feels like the album's subject of war and paranoia is a bit less relatable than the subjects ofWaaayyyy better than American Idiot! The songs all have a very different sound to them (aside from 21st Century Breakdown and See the Light, obviously); it feels like every song on here should be a hit single. The solos come in at a perfect time, and the lyrics are genius, although it feels like the album's subject of war and paranoia is a bit less relatable than the subjects of loneliness and boredom in Dookie. That one's still my favorite Green Day album, but, needless to say, this one's pretty dang good, too, just in different ways. Expand
  62. 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.
  63. Aug 27, 2010
    8
    Enjoyable to say the least. Not quite as good as American Idiot, but still very enjoyable. The great lyrics of Billie-Jo Armstrong really shine through in this one with ballads such as "21 Guns" and "Know Your Enemy". With the hard pounding guitar and sing-along choruses, this album is a definite crowd pleaser, but can leave older fans slightly disappointed.
  64. 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
  65. Feb 1, 2011
    10
    This album is amazing! I feel its better than American Idiot in every-way. Don't understand all the mixed reviews. Its like they took what they did on American Idiot and made this album even bigger. The songs flow together perfectly and its such an epic feel on every song! My favorite album of 2009!
  66. Feb 10, 2011
    9
    Following American Idiot, Green Day have done it again with another brilliant album and story accompanied. But unlike American Idiot it is not as good. With American Idiot each song had its own specific style and personality where as with Breakdown several of the songs have the same style even to the point of sounding similar.

    Not as good as American Idiot but brilliant none the less!
  67. Feb 15, 2011
    7
    21st Century Breakdown is a great album and it's great to see the guys continue to expand their work into places they've never gone. However, it seems more like American Idiot: Part 2 at times and that they've taken the concept too seriously. Don't get me wrong, it has an amazing story and great songs. But as the successor to American Idiot, it would be refreshing for a few songs that were21st Century Breakdown is a great album and it's great to see the guys continue to expand their work into places they've never gone. However, it seems more like American Idiot: Part 2 at times and that they've taken the concept too seriously. Don't get me wrong, it has an amazing story and great songs. But as the successor to American Idiot, it would be refreshing for a few songs that were simply just fun. Expand
  68. 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
  69. Feb 22, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. How do you follow up the greatest album of the new millennium? You do it by releasing a rock opera that rivals American Idiot in almost every way. Now 21st Century Breakdown is nowhere close to being as good as American Idiot was, but it tries to be and does a pretty good job in the process. Green Day continues the Rock Opera in post-Bush America. Here the two protagonists (Christian and Gloria) are trying to survive as working class heros all the time trying to be corrupted by the government and religion. Billie joe and Co. have 18 solid songs here and the album is full of energy from beginning to end. There are moments of classic punk Green Day ("Christian's Inferno", "Murder City" and "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades") and the mature side of the band ("21st Century Breakdown", "21 Guns" and "See The Light") Billie joe turns in his best love song in his whole career of writing ("Last Night on Earth"). "Peacemaker" and "Viva La Gloria (Little Girl)"has the band experimenting with middle eastern while Billie Joe shows of his new talent by playing the piano on tracks such as "Restless Heart Syndrome" and "Viva La Gloria". Some of the songs are repetitive in their structure with a slow beginning and a strong finish, but that is the albums only flaw. Compared with American Idiot this album won't stand the test of time like the latter will, but taken by itself this album is just a pure Punk Rock album by one of the best bands of our time. Expand
  70. 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
  71. May 12, 2011
    9
    its awesome and touching and full of hate. green day creates a story so powerful it makes me wanna rebel against drinking coke and loving america. green day was killing this album. i love this album. the lyrics were great. i hate America just like they do.
  72. May 15, 2011
    10
    Most Green Day albums are awesome, but this one album changed the world for the course of 1 billion years. So epic, cool & awesome. Anyways, this makes Insomniac feel like a dictatorship. Its a great album, really.
  73. Jun 22, 2011
    10
    Not only is every song good, but they made a whopping 18 of them. Rarely do albums have this many songs, and definately not as good as these. Green day really took their time with this album, but once you hear it, u will see why
  74. j30
    Sep 21, 2011
    4
    Sounds like b-sides of American Idiot and Warning. Complete lackluster display of songs.from such a great band.
  75. CRL
    Jul 26, 2011
    10
    This album makes American Idiot seem like the opening act. Set in three acts and eighteen songs, it tells another story about Christian and Gloria, as well as a bit of America thrown in for good measure. This is Green Day at its finest.
  76. Sep 10, 2011
    8
    Green Day's songs are now at the point where they are all beginning to sound quite similar in almost every possible way. At least these are enjoyable, intense pieces from another great concept album.
  77. Aug 7, 2011
    8
    I'm not sure whether a good punk rock song should be called 'catchy' (sounds too commercial?), but I know that every song from this album is nothing less than... catchy. Sometimes "21st century..." is noisy and powerful, but you can also find ballads. I expected something much more worse after "American Idiot" and I'm pleasantly surprised.
  78. 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
  79. Nov 10, 2011
    8
    Greenday's "21st Century Breakdown" is unpredictable and epic in every sense. The songs are good and has a smell of rock. Overall a great package, but "American Idiot" was better.
  80. 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
  81. 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.
  82. 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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  83. Jan 6, 2012
    7
    21st Century Breakdown isn't American Idiot, and won't ever live up to the standards set by Dookie, but it still exceeds at tearing down the walls of the 21st century.
  84. Apr 9, 2012
    8
    Better and more songs than American Idiot, but it doesn't have any of the great plot elements of American Idiot, and feels sort of bland. Overall it's an OK album, but after the masterpiece of American Idiot, this really is a bit of a disappointment. It lacks the energy and political commentary of American Idiot, but I would still recommend it if you are a Green Day fan.
  85. Jun 5, 2012
    10
    A great follow-up to "American Idiot", this album proves to yet again succeed convey Green Day's brilliant messages. "21st Century Breakdown" proves to be no disappointment.
  86. Oct 27, 2012
    7
    Just as I expected, Green Day wasn't able to keep up with their masterpiece 'American Idiot'. A break of almost five years didn't help, this record does not have the strong base story that its predecessor had. I could've overlooked that but next thing is, there is ONLY ONE good song! - Peacemaker. Most of the rest is pretty good, but there are also a couple of weak songs (including everyJust as I expected, Green Day wasn't able to keep up with their masterpiece 'American Idiot'. A break of almost five years didn't help, this record does not have the strong base story that its predecessor had. I could've overlooked that but next thing is, there is ONLY ONE good song! - Peacemaker. Most of the rest is pretty good, but there are also a couple of weak songs (including every released single). The rock opera flair gets lost and the whole album is not that ingenious anymore. But nonetheless, I recommend you to buy it, just 'cause you can have much fun headbanging to it. Expand
  87. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    Another masterpiece by Green Day. No bad songs, only good tracks and many great songs (21 Guns, 21st Century Breakdown, Know Your Enemy, Viva La Gloria, The Static Age). Green Day do it again.
  88. Sep 27, 2012
    8
    21st Century Breakdown is highly underrated. If it had not been American Idiot's follow up album it would have been recieved in a much better light. The album is not as good as American Idiot but it has a plethora of great songs that go from wonderfully composed pieces of music to extremely simple and catchy songs.
  89. Nov 6, 2012
    10
    Why? Can some one explain to me why this album is considered bad? And don't give me "because its not as a good as American Idiot" or "just because it is" crap that doesn't make sense! On its own merits, 21st Century Breakdown is a well produced, smart, and heavily re-playable album. As well, Green Day despite 5 years since American Idiot sound just as good if not better when it comes toWhy? Can some one explain to me why this album is considered bad? And don't give me "because its not as a good as American Idiot" or "just because it is" crap that doesn't make sense! On its own merits, 21st Century Breakdown is a well produced, smart, and heavily re-playable album. As well, Green Day despite 5 years since American Idiot sound just as good if not better when it comes to playing the actual music. So for all of the people claiming its bad, go listen to a pretentious indie or dubstep album. I however am going to be listening to good music that takes talent to play thank you very much. Expand
  90. Mar 26, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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 are Awesome while the other half are boring as other than that it's a solid album, go buy it Expand
  91. Apr 30, 2013
    10
    Although some would claim this to be inferior to American Idiot I consider to be its equal. Lyrically, Billie Joe touches upon themes of politics, religion and many lyrics are reflective of his personal life (there are no new ideas here and the concept makes no sense but it works for the most part). Musically, the songs are ridiculous over the top epics that sound like Muse if they everAlthough some would claim this to be inferior to American Idiot I consider to be its equal. Lyrically, Billie Joe touches upon themes of politics, religion and many lyrics are reflective of his personal life (there are no new ideas here and the concept makes no sense but it works for the most part). Musically, the songs are ridiculous over the top epics that sound like Muse if they ever did a hard rock song; the album also contains its fair share of ballads which aren't impressive but still great songs. Tre Cool hasn't really evolved his drumming skills, and Mike Dirnt is still a competent bassist, Billie Joe sticks to the punk formula of a few chords but also implements the use of piano on the record whilst ranting his way through. As good as (if not better) than American Idiot. Expand
  92. 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.
  93. Dec 22, 2013
    10
    I seem to have an unpopular opinion when I say that 21st Century Breakdown is superior to American Idiot, and I think one reason for this is that "21st" has more.
  94. Jun 23, 2014
    9
    So lets get the Elephant out of the way. Yes 21st Century Breakdown isn't as good as American Idiot. American Idiot was lightning in a bottle and just like The Dark Knight Rises it's impossible to recapture that lightning. American Idiot is a masterpiece and one of the greatest albums of all time. Taken on its own merits though 21st Century Breakdown is still a great album. It's anotherSo lets get the Elephant out of the way. Yes 21st Century Breakdown isn't as good as American Idiot. American Idiot was lightning in a bottle and just like The Dark Knight Rises it's impossible to recapture that lightning. American Idiot is a masterpiece and one of the greatest albums of all time. Taken on its own merits though 21st Century Breakdown is still a great album. It's another rock opera, the arena sound comes back and there are more songs. This is one of those cases though were bigger doesn't necessarily means better. The story is weak and not easy to follow and the arena sound isn't as fun in a structured format. However once again its still a great album but has the problem of being a follow up to a masterpiece.
    Notable Songs: 21st Century Breakdown, Know Your Enemy, Before the Lobotomy, Last Night On Earth, East Jesus Nowhere, Peacemaker, Last of the American Girls, Restless Heart Syndrome, 21 Guns and American Eulogy.
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  95. Apr 4, 2016
    10
    ......................................................................................................................... An Another Masterpiece Album of Green Day, Too Masterpiece like American Idiot (2004)
  96. Aug 9, 2016
    8
    How could Green Day manage a very well album after the breakout American Idiot? The answers are simple, firstly they rocked as **** showing its angriness and powerfulness (Horseshoes and Handgrenades, Murder City, Know Your Enemy) that they ever had, secondly melodically it's even kind of better than American Idiot (21 Guns, The Static Age) and finally the piano sounded terrific (RestlessHow could Green Day manage a very well album after the breakout American Idiot? The answers are simple, firstly they rocked as **** showing its angriness and powerfulness (Horseshoes and Handgrenades, Murder City, Know Your Enemy) that they ever had, secondly melodically it's even kind of better than American Idiot (21 Guns, The Static Age) and finally the piano sounded terrific (Restless Heart Syndrome, Viva la Gloria!) The reason why I didn't give them 100% were lyrically (because it was a bit confused)
    THE BEST ALBUM OF MY ADOLESCENCE!!
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  97. Apr 4, 2016
    10
    ..............................................................................................................................................................................................MOPUS..........................LIKE American idiot
  98. May 1, 2016
    7
    Is not a punk album, but it's still catchy, 21st Century Breakdown would probably be the laziest album of the band, arenas will be a bit disappointed, but some tracks will return the powerful crowd as Bullet In a Bible or as the breakout Dookie
  99. May 11, 2016
    10
    ....................................................................................................................................................................Album of genius
  100. Aug 5, 2016
    9
    I must say, in terms of sound quality and consistency, that this is one of the finest rock albums ever produced, as well as another Green Day masterpiece on par with American Idiot.

    The sonic tone, with the ever-familiar aftertaste of ardent punk, manages a successful splice with stadium rock that allows for both fun, catchy songs ("Horseshoes and Handgrenades", "Know Your Enemy"), as
    I must say, in terms of sound quality and consistency, that this is one of the finest rock albums ever produced, as well as another Green Day masterpiece on par with American Idiot.

    The sonic tone, with the ever-familiar aftertaste of ardent punk, manages a successful splice with stadium rock that allows for both fun, catchy songs ("Horseshoes and Handgrenades", "Know Your Enemy"), as well as more grandiose tunes that soar to heroic heights ("21 Guns", "Last of the American Girls") and tug on the heartstrings of the listener, as well as a few tracks that bring out the best of both worlds ("East Jesus Nowhere", "21st Century Breakdown"). The band has never sounded as good as they have on this album, not even on American Idiot in which they were still experimenting with their shift into rock opera territory and still had an overwhelming punk flavor. For some reason I skipped over this album and went straight to the Uno/Dos/Tre trilogy after finishing American Idiot, and the clean, clipped sound of the guitar on those albums just didn't do it for me. But where those albums failed, Breakdown exponentially succeeds as a perfect blend of sugar, spice, and everything nice.

    The themes and story of the album have received some criticism, and while I agree that the storyline isn't as focused as Idiot's, it doesn't need to be--rather, it functions more like a collection of short stories than a novel. Christian and Gloria function as the primary characters, but rather than having their tales told in a linear manner, the album's scattershot presentation of them is perfectly reflective of the album's main theme--the collapse of American (and truly, world) culture during the modern age. External forces such as religion and politics are attacked with force and vigor alongside internal ones such as a growing sense of insecurity and alienation, the feeling that the lives of individuals don't carry as much weight as they did even twenty years ago.

    The juxtaposition between Christian and Gloria is one of the most interesting things the album has going for it, in my opinion--Christian, struggling to be good for Gloria while still battling with his own demons, and Gloria, who is placed upon a pedestal as an example to and a light for the masses scrambling in the dark for answers and purpose--and the characters are highly self-reflective of frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and his wife Adrienne. Armstrong's battles with substance abuse are well-known in the music community, while Adrienne is his rock, the visual representation of the ideals which he believes are the best humanity has to offer (self-admittedly, "Last of the American Girls" was written with Adrienne in mind), and he dramatizes and romanticizes the struggles they endure every day in order to create a lasting, rallying battle cry for the people of the US, and the world.

    In closing, 21st Century Breakdown is quite deserving of its Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, as it succeeds as a fun, thoughtful yet easily accessible album that offers something for rockers everywhere, on top of spreading a pretty poignant message about the dissolution of society in our day and age. 9/10
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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.