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Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 274 Ratings

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  • Summary: The eighth studio album for the band was produced by Butch Vig.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. 21st Century Breakdown is even better, so masterful and confident it makes Idiot seem like a warm-up.
  2. Green Day took small steps out of its comfort zone on American Idiot, but Breakdown finds the band going bolder, mixing in elements of mariachi ('Peacemaker') and klezmer ('¡Viva La Gloria!'). Still, the band members never spend too much time away from their bread and butter: heavily melodic punk.
  3. Bold, ambitious and revelling in the chaos of the age, 21st Century Breakdown is another perfect document of our times. [Jun 2009, p.114]
  4. As a thinker, Armstrong isn't always comprehensible or original, but he knows how to communicate his frenzied thoughts enjoyably.
  5. 60
    Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tré Cool push Idiot's conceits even further on 21st Century Breakdown, a slick, class-obsessed, 70-minute, 18-song, three-act cycle that trades Bush-era indignation for Obama-era resignation.
  6. Like its predecessor, 21st Century Breakdown delivers less than it promises; it’s more successful as a rock album than as a rock opera.
  7. Mostly, the overkill of professionalism just makes me yearn for the early Green Day material I grew up with: sloppy, abrasive, and most importantly, aware of what they can and can't pull off.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 94
  2. Negative: 8 out of 94
  1. ChingW
    Jul 14, 2009
    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. Expand
  2. MikeB
    Nov 27, 2009
    A modern-day masterpiece.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Nov 10, 2011
    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. Expand
  6. QuayT
    Jun 17, 2009
    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. Expand
  7. MichaelC
    May 16, 2009
    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. Expand

See all 94 User Reviews