21st Century Breakdown

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21st Century Breakdown Image
Metascore
70

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

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 324 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. It's a state of the union address, an apocalyptic protest album. It also sounds phenomenal.
  4. While the disc does get bogged down with a little too much force-feeding of the Christian and Gloria characters (just like Idiot's Jimmy and Whatshername), it's a safe bet that the listener will come out the other end having largely enjoyed the last 70 minutes and 18 tracks.
  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. Such quality care is evident throughout most of Breakdown, and, as such, individual moments positively glisten, even if the widescreen view of Breakdown feels a bit muddled and confused, the whole actually being less than the sum of its parts.
  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: 81 out of 103
  2. Negative: 8 out of 103
  1. WyattM
    Jul 24, 2009
    10
    I think 21st century breakdown has great songs and great lyrics.
  2. 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.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 Expand
  3. 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,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. 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 bottleSo 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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  5. 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 **** showingHow 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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  6. 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, thisJust 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
  7. 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 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 103 User Reviews