User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 274 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 274

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  1. Aug 11, 2010
    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.
  2. Jul 29, 2011
    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 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
  3. Feb 1, 2011
    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!
  4. May 15, 2011
    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.
  5. Jun 22, 2011
    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
  6. CRL
    Jul 26, 2011
    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.
  7. Jun 5, 2012
    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.
  8. Mar 8, 2013
    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.
  9. Nov 6, 2012
    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 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
  10. Apr 30, 2013
    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 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
  11. Dec 22, 2013
    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.
  12. Feb 10, 2011
    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!
  13. Feb 22, 2011
    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
  14. May 12, 2011
    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.
  15. Jun 23, 2014
    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 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.

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.